Biodiversity & Conservation

Phragmites australis swamp and reed beds

SS.IMU.Ang.S4


IMU.NVC_S4

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

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

Habitat sensitivity

Physical Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Substratum Loss High Moderate Moderate Major decline Low
Smothering Low Immediate Not sensitive Minor decline Low
Increase in suspended sediment Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive No change Not relevant
Decrease in suspended sediment Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive No change Not relevant
Desiccation Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive No change Low
Increase in emergence regime Intermediate High Low Rise Low
Decrease in emergence regime Intermediate High Low No change Low
Increase in water flow rate Intermediate High Low Decline Low
Decrease in water flow rate Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive No change High
Increase in temperature Tolerant* Not relevant Not sensitive* No change Low
Decrease in temperature Intermediate High Low Minor decline Low
Increase in turbidity Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Minor decline Not relevant
Decrease in turbidity Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Rise Not relevant
Increase in wave exposure Intermediate High Low Minor decline Low
Decrease in wave exposure Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant
Noise Intermediate Very high Low Minor decline Very low
Visual Presence Intermediate Very high Low Minor decline Very low
Abrasion & physical disturbance Intermediate High Low Decline Low
Displacement High Moderate Moderate Major decline Low

Chemical Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Synthetic compound contamination Intermediate High Low Major decline Low
Heavy metal contamination Intermediate High Low Decline Low
Hydrocarbon contamination Intermediate High Low Major decline Moderate
Radionuclide contamination Insufficient information Not relevant Insufficient information Insufficient Information Not relevant
Changes in nutrient levels Tolerant* Not relevant Not sensitive* Rise Low
Increase in salinity Intermediate High Low Minor decline Low
Decrease in salinity Tolerant* Not relevant Not sensitive* Rise Low
Changes in oxygenation Low Immediate Not sensitive No change Low

Biological Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites Intermediate High Low Low
Introduction of non-native species Insufficient information Not relevant Insufficient information Insufficient Information Not relevant
Extraction of this species Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive No change Not relevant
Extraction of other species Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant

Species used to indicate biotope intolerance

Physical factors

Hydrobia ulvae
Important functional
Gammarus salinus
Important functional
Gammarus insensibilis
Important functional
Neomysis integer
Important other
Substratum LossHighIntermediateHighTolerant
SmotheringIntermediateIntermediateLowTolerant
Increase in suspended sedimentTolerantTolerantLowTolerant*
Decrease in suspended sedimentTolerantLow
DesiccationLowLowIntermediateNot relevant
Increase in emergence regimeLowLowIntermediateNot relevant
Decrease in emergence regimeLowNot relevant
Increase in water flow rateIntermediateHighIntermediateIntermediate
Decrease in water flow rateTolerantTolerant*
Increase in temperatureIntermediateLowLowIntermediate
Decrease in temperatureIntermediateIntermediate
Increase in turbidityTolerantLowIntermediateTolerant*
Decrease in turbidityTolerantLow
Increase in wave exposureHighHighHighHigh
Decrease in wave exposureTolerantNot relevant
NoiseTolerantTolerantInsufficient informationTolerant
Visual PresenceTolerantTolerantInsufficient informationTolerant
Abrasion & physical disturbanceLowTolerantIntermediateNot relevant
DisplacementTolerantNot relevantHighNot relevant

Chemical factors

Hydrobia ulvae
Important functional
Gammarus salinus
Important functional
Gammarus insensibilis
Important functional
Neomysis integer
Important other
Synthetic compound contaminationLowLowHighIntermediate
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationLowInsufficient informationIntermediate
Hydrocarbon contaminationIntermediateHighHighIntermediate
Radionuclide contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Changes in nutrient levelsLowTolerant*Insufficient informationTolerant*
Increase in salinityTolerantLowLowHigh
Decrease in salinityLowTolerant
Changes in oxygenationIntermediateLowInsufficient informationNot relevant

Biological factors

Hydrobia ulvae
Important functional
Gammarus salinus
Important functional
Gammarus insensibilis
Important functional
Neomysis integer
Important other
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesHighInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Introduction of non-native speciesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Extraction of this speciesNot relevantNot relevantInsufficient informationNot relevant
Extraction of other speciesTolerantInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information

Species used to indicate biotope recoverability

Physical factors

Hydrobia ulvae
Important functional
Gammarus salinus
Important functional
Gammarus insensibilis
Important functional
Neomysis integer
Important other
Substratum LossHighVery highLowNot relevant
SmotheringVery highVery highHighNot relevant
Increase in suspended sedimentNot relevantNot relevantHighNot relevant
Decrease in suspended sedimentNot relevantImmediate
DesiccationImmediateImmediateModerateNot relevant
Increase in emergence regimeImmediateImmediateModerateNot relevant
Decrease in emergence regimeVery highNot relevant
Increase in water flow rateVery highVery highModerateVery high
Decrease in water flow rateNot relevantNot relevant
Increase in temperatureImmediateImmediateModerateVery high
Decrease in temperatureVery highVery high
Increase in turbidityNot relevantVery highLowNot relevant
Decrease in turbidityNot relevantVery high
Increase in wave exposureHighHighLowVery high
Decrease in wave exposureNot relevantNot relevant
NoiseNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Visual PresenceNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Abrasion & physical disturbanceVery highNot relevantModerateNot relevant
DisplacementNot relevantNot relevantLowNot relevant

Chemical factors

Hydrobia ulvae
Important functional
Gammarus salinus
Important functional
Gammarus insensibilis
Important functional
Neomysis integer
Important other
Synthetic compound contaminationImmediateVery highLowVery high
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationVery highNot relevantVery high
Hydrocarbon contaminationVery highHighLowVery high
Radionuclide contaminationInsufficient informationNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Changes in nutrient levelsImmediateNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Increase in salinityNot relevantImmediateModerateVery high
Decrease in salinityImmediateNot relevant
Changes in oxygenationVery highImmediateInsufficient informationNot relevant

Biological factors

Hydrobia ulvae
Important functional
Gammarus salinus
Important functional
Gammarus insensibilis
Important functional
Neomysis integer
Important other
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesHighNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Introduction of non-native speciesInsufficient informationNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Extraction of this speciesNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Extraction of other speciesNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant

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 22/12/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatsensitivity.php?habitatid=304&code=1997>