Biodiversity & Conservation

Puccinellia maritima salt marsh community



Image Kathy Duncan - Puccinellia maritima salt marsh. Image width ca 5 m.
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Distribution map

LS.LMp.Sm.SM13 recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Puccinellia maritima dominated communities are widespread in saltmarsh habitats around the British Isles but are replaced by the Puccinellia maritima turf fucoid sub-community in western Scotland and Northern Ireland (Rodwell, 2000).

Habitat preferences

Temperature range preferences - Data deficient

Water clarity preferences - Not relevant

Limiting Nutrients - Nitrogen (nitrates)
Phosphorus (phosphates)

Other preferences - Waterlogged, saline soil.

Additional information

Habitat preferences
Nitrogen was reported to be limiting in many salt marsh ecosystems and added nitrogen resulted in increased primary production, decomposition and animal growth rates (Valiela & Teal, 1974; Long & Mason, 1983). Vascular plants communities are exposed to greater fluctuations in day and night temperatures than their marine counterparts, and are probably tolerant. In addition, flood tides result in temperatures shocks, e.g. in winter the frozen marsh surface may be exposed to tidal waters 10 °C warmer. Although temperature shock probably has physiological effects, they have not been studied (Adam, 1993).

This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2004. Puccinellia maritima salt marsh community. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/11/2015]. Available from: <>