Red List habitat classification > RLC - Freshwater habitats > RLC3.5a Periodically exposed shore with stable, eutrophic sediments with pioneer or ephemeral vegetation

Periodically exposed shore with stable, eutrophic sediments with pioneer or ephemeral vegetation

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLC3.5a
Threat status
Europe Near Threatened
EU Near Threatened
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)


This habitat type includes periodically exposed shores of rivers or islets of accumulated sediment in river channels, drying-out oxbows, lakes and fishponds. The same habitat conditions also occur in disturbed habitats strongly affected by humans such as ditches and other wet places in villages or shallowly inundated and drying out arable land. However these anthropogenic habitats represents degradations of other habitat types and therefore do not deserve protection. Soils are muddy or sandy-muddy, usually with a high concentration of nutrients from natural sedimentation or from human input, for example on arable land and near agricultural farms.

Vegetation growing in such environments is dominated by annual herbs, mainly of the genera Bidens, Chenopodium and Persicaria. In the Mediterranean areas where the drying out is more rapid the vegetation in the same habitat can be dominated also by perennial stoloniferous species tolerant to prolonged flooding such as Cynodon dactylon, Polypogon viridis, Panicum repens, Paspalum spp.  Depending on the successional stage, soil nutrient status and the speed of the draw-down the vegetation can be short and open, or very dense and up to 1.5 m tall (especially if dominated by annual plants of the class Bidentetea). The stands are usually species-poor, often with a single dominant species, but can be also species-rich, especially in open, frequently disturbed stands on river shores.

In contrast to habitat C3.5b, this habitat occurs in environments with quick draw-down and drying out, or on more nutrient-rich sediments. In environments with slower draw-down, low-growing vegetation belonging to C3.5b can appear first and develop into tall-growing stands of C3.5a in a later successional stage.

Indicators of good quality:

  • Occurrence in natural environments such as shores of unregulated rivers or natural lakes

  • Occurrence of rare wetland species

  • Low incidence of neophytes

  • Low occurrence of shrubs

Characteristic species
For full habitat description, please download the habitat factsheet.

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat type is assessed as Near Threatened (NT) due to large declines in quality (criteria C/D1) over the last 50 years. This is accompanied by a reduction of about 14% in area, a trend that does not lead to any threatened category.
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened C/D1
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened C/D1

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Grazing
    • Intensive grazing
    • Use of biocides, hormones and chemicals
  • Mining, extraction of materials and energy production
    • Mining and quarrying
    • Sand and gravel extraction
  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters (limnic, terrestrial, marine & brackish)
  • Invasive, other problematic species and genes
    • Invasive non-native species
  • Natural System modifications
    • Human induced changes in hydraulic conditions
    • Modification of hydrographic functioning, general

Habitat restoration potential

The habitat can easilly recover naturally its functionallity as soon as the modifications in river systems stop. If the severe damage is related to pollution, the habitat can be readily recovered when the water quality is restored.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

The conservation and management of this habitat requires the existence of periodically exposed shores with stable sediments by maintaining the natural hydrographic conditions -occurence of unregulated rivers or natural lakes-. It is important to maintain also a low incidence of neophytes and occurence of shrubs.

List of conservation and management needs

  • No measures
    • No measures needed for the conservation of the habitat/species
  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Other wetland related measures
    • Restoring/Improving the hydrological regime
    • Managing water abstraction


For each habitat a distribution map was produced from a wide variety of sources indicating known and potential occurrences of the habitat in 10x10 km grids within Europe. Occurrences in grid cells were given in two classes: actual distribution from relatively reliable sources (surveys, expert knowledge), and potential distribution based on models or less reliable indicators. Please download the fact sheet to see the map.

Geographic occurrence and trends

EU28 Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Austria Present 50 Decreasing Decreasing
Belgium Present Unknown Unknown Increasing
Bulgaria Present 21 Decreasing Decreasing
Croatia Present 10 Decreasing Increasing
Cyprus Uncertain - -
Czech Republic Present 0.8 Decreasing Decreasing
Denmark Uncertain - -
Estonia Present 1 - -
Finland mainland Present Unknown Decreasing Decreasing
France mainland Present 100 Decreasing Decreasing
Germany Present Unknown Decreasing Increasing
Greece (mainland and other islands) Uncertain - -
Crete Uncertain - -
Hungary Present 30 Decreasing Stable
Ireland Present 1.2 Stable Stable
Italy mainland Present 86 Decreasing Decreasing
Sicily Present 86 Decreasing Decreasing
Latvia Uncertain - -
Lithuania Present 0.9 Unknown Unknown
Luxembourg Uncertain - -
Malta Uncertain - -
Netherlands Present 2.3 Stable Decreasing
Poland Uncertain - -
Portugal mainland Uncertain - -
Romania Present 90 Decreasing Increasing
Slovakia Present 4 Decreasing Decreasing
Slovenia Present 5.2 Decreasing Increasing
Spain mainland Present 30 Stable Increasing
Sweden Present unknown Unknown Unknown
East Aegean Uncertain - -
United Kingdom Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Northern Island Uncertain unknown Unknown Unknown
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Albania Present 20 Decreasing Increasing
Bosnia and Herzegovina Present 5 Decreasing Decreasing
Kaliningrad Uncertain - -
Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Uncertain - -
Montenegro Uncertain - -
Serbia Uncertain - -
Switzerland Present 1,5 Decreasing Decreasing
Kosovo Uncertain - -

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 5801250 3833 425
EU28+ 3867 430
AOO = the area occupied by a habitat measured in number of 10x10 km grid cells.
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).

Characteristic species

Not available

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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