Biodiversity & Conservation

Potamogeton pectinatus community



Image Martin Isaeus - A bed of fennel pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus.
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Distribution map

SS.SMp.Ang.A12 recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Text page icon Habitat description

Map icon Distribution of biotope in Britain and Ireland Recorded from isolated saline lagoons in Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.
National importance Scarce

Text page icon Description of biotope

For a full description of this biotope including characterizing species, distribution, survey information and references visit JNCC

Consistently low salinity infralittoral mud with beds of Potamogeton pectinatus. Potamogeton pectinatus appears to replace Ruppia beds where the salinity is consistently low as opposed to variable. Other associated species are broadly similar to those characteristic of IMS.Rup, with blankets of filamentous green algae such as Ulva intestinalis, Cladophora liniformis and Rhizoclonium tortuosum. The grazing gastropods Hydrobia ulvae and Potamopyrgus jenkinsi are found in this biotope and juvenile Mytilus edulis have been observed settled on Potamogeton leaves and amongst the algae. The nationally scarce charophyte Lamprothamnium papulosum may be found to some extent in this biotope but more often in neighbouring habitats. Mysids and sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus can be found swimming amongst the vegetation. Mya arenaria may be found in some examples of this biotope but the infaunal component of this biotope requires further investigation. This biotope is further described as NVC type A12 (Rodwell 1995). (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information

This following review is based on more detailed reviews of Potamogeton pectinatus and its communities by Kantrud (1990), Verhoeven & van Vierssen (1978), Verhoeven (1980a) and van Vierssen & Verhoeven (1983), to which the reader should refer for further detail, together with reviews of general submergent macrophyte ecology by Haslam (1978) and Preston (1995).

This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2002. Potamogeton pectinatus community. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 30/11/2015]. Available from: <>