Biodiversity & Conservation

Phragmites australis swamp and reed beds



Image Harvey Tyler-Walters - Edge of a Phragmites reed bed in February, Tamar Estuary. Image width ca 1 m in foreground.
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Distribution map

SS.IMU.Ang.S4 recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Map icon UK and Ireland classification

Major habitat SS Sublittoral sediments
Habitat complex SS.IMU
Biotope complex SS.IMU.Ang Angiosperm communities (lagoons)
Biotope SS.IMU.Ang.S4 Phragmites australis swamp and reed beds

Additional information icon Additional information

The UK National Vegetation Classification (NVC) S4 (Rodwell, 1995): Phragmites australis swamp and reedbeds. Phragmitetum australis (Gams, 1927) Schmale, 1939. Includes the sub-communities:
  • Phragmites australis dominated sub-community;
  • Galium palustre sub-community;
  • Menyanthes trifoliata sun-community, and
  • Atriplex prostata sub-communities, which includes the Atriplex prostata dominated variant, Puccinellia maritima variant and Agrostis stolonifera variant.
European Natural Information System (EUNIS) classification (Davies & Moss, 1998):
  • A2.63C - Saline beds of Phragmites australis (Saline reedbeds), and
  • A4.551/B-IMU.Ang.NVC.S4 - Vegetation of brackish waters dominated by Phragmites australis (Vegetation of brackish waters dominated by common reed Phragmites).

This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2002. Phragmites australis swamp and reed beds. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 01/12/2015]. Available from: <>