AA.J1S3 Baltic photic sand dominated by Vaucheria spp.


HELCOM RED LIST Biotope Expert Team

Textual description 

Baltic bottoms in the photic zone with at least 90 % coverage of sand has less than 20 % of mud/silt/clay fraction (<63 µm), and the proportion of sand (grain size 0.063–2 mm) exceeds 70% of the combined gravel and sand fraction. Annual algae cover at least 10 % of the seabed, while all other vegetation covers less than 10 %. Out of the annual algae, Vaucheria spp. constitutes at least 50 % of the biovolume.         

Physical environment       

Salinity range: <7 psu; Exposure range: sheltered; Depth range: photic zone down to about 7 meters.

Characteristic species        

Vaucheria spp.


From southern Baltic Sea to northern Bothnian Bay and eastern Gulf of Finland

Anthropogenic threats


Correspondence with other classification systems               

HELCOM 1998:

2.5 Sandy bottoms

2.5.2 Sublittoral photic zone Level bottoms dominated by macrophyte vegetation


EUNIS 2012:

A5 Sublittoral sediment

A5.5 Sublittoral macrophyte-dominated sediment