Red List habitat classification > RLC - Freshwater habitats > RLC3.5e Unvegetated or sparsely vegetated shore with mobile sediments in the Mediterranean region

Unvegetated or sparsely vegetated shore with mobile sediments in the Mediterranean region

Quick facts

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

Summary

This habitat includes silt, sandy and gravel banks and shores of flowing and standing water bodies of the Mediterranean areas. The rivers can be intermittently flowing (completely dry during the summer or left with some pools) or constantly flowing but with abundant exposed sandy or gravel sediments exposed during the summer. This category includes Mediterranean lake-bottoms or edges with mobile sediments (silt, sand or gravel) temporarily exposed by fluctuations of the water level, wind or wave action.

In the Mediterranean region, the climatic conditions are characterized by annual precipitation patterns that are high during autumn and winter but low during summer. Thus, many streams have developed spatial and temporal discontinuities of flow regime. Flow is interrupted during the summer dry period, but even energetic flow is observed during the wet season from late autumn to early spring. During the wet season, high precipitation lead to floods and consequent disturbances, such as sediment disturbances or even changes in the morphology of the stream channel. These seasonal differences in hydrological condition imply the need for specially adapted taxa to persist in this habitat. At the same time this habitat can host many plant species that require different moisture conditions (from humid to very dry). The high evaporation rate on certain geological substrates during summer can cause the accumulation of salts and oxides, therefore also species tolerant to brackish soil can occur. In some cases the geological substrate is very rich in salt and salt crusts are formed with the drying of the riverbed. In this specific case the dominant vegetation is tolerant to high salt concentrations and the habitat belong to the types C1.5 (Permanent inland saline and brackish waters) and C3.5c (Periodically exposed saline shores with pioneer and ephemeral vegetation). Despite the similarities with temporary running waters in temperate regions, there are differences in the timing and dynamics of nutrient inputs.

The grain size of sediments depends by the water regime and the history of water bodies both in flowing and standing waters and influence the plant species composition of the communities occupying this habitat type. These areas could be either completely unvegetated or occupied by vascular plant communities including pioneer vegetation and subsequent early stages of colonization. Often these areas are neighbouring with riverine forests and scrub of Salix spp., Populus spp., Tamarix spp., Nerium oleander and Vitex agnus-castus.

Indicators of quality:

  • Natural hydrology
  • Suitable geological substrate (easily erodible)
  • Pioneer vegetation with absence or sporadic abundance of nitrophilous species
  • No communities of exotic invasive species
  • No negative anthropogenic influence (sediment extraction, regulation of the water regime, construction of artificial banks)

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

This habitat reaches the qualification of Least Concern (LC) because it is widespread in Europe and has undergone minor reductions in quantity and quality since the last 50 years.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Mining, extraction of materials and energy production
    • Mining and quarrying
    • Sand and gravel extraction
  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters (limnic, terrestrial, marine & brackish)
    • Soil pollution and solid waste (excluding discharges)
    • Garbage and solid waste
  • 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

Estimations for such recovery are a period of 10 years through human intervention and of 20 years naturally.

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 type must preserve the natural hydrology avoiding the sediment extraction, the regulation of the water regime and the construction of artificial banks. Control of water quality is also required in order to promote natural pioneer vegetation and to avoid nitrophilous and exotic invasive species.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Restoring/Improving water quality
    • Restoring/Improving the hydrological regime
    • Managing water abstraction
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Manage landscape features
  • Measures related to urban areas, industry, energy and transport
    • Urban and industrial waste management

Distribution

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)
Bulgaria Present Unknown Decreasing Unknown
France mainland Present 58 Decreasing Unknown
Corsica Present 58 Decreasing Unknown
Greece (mainland and other islands) Present 0,09 Stable Unknown
Crete Present 0,09 Stable Unknown
East Aegean Uncertain 0,09 Stable Unknown
Italy mainland Present 168,18 Decreasing Decreasing
Sardinia Present 168,18 Decreasing Decreasing
Sicily Present 168,18 Decreasing Decreasing
Portugal mainland Present 12 Unknown Stable
Spain mainland Present 46,74 Decreasing Decreasing
Balearic Islands Uncertain 46,74 Decreasing Decreasing
Croatia Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Cyprus Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Slovenia Uncertain - -
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Present 2 Decreasing Decreasing
Albania Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Montenegro Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Kosovo Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Serbia Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 2468950 1181 238
EU28+ 1182 240
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

The full list of characteristic species and genus are available above from the Summary. The species available in the EUNIS database are shown here.
Flowering Plants Andryala integrifolia
Flowering Plants Artemisia campestris
Flowering Plants Asperula purpurea
Flowering Plants Astragalus onobrychis
Flowering Plants Centranthus ruber
Flowering Plants Chenopodium botrys
Flowering Plants Chondrilla juncea
Flowering Plants Cynodon dactylon
Flowering Plants Cyperus fuscus
Flowering Plants Dittrichia viscosa
Flowering Plants Dorycnium hirsutum
Flowering Plants Elymus repens
Flowering Plants Erucastrum nasturtiifolium
Flowering Plants Euphorbia rigida
Flowering Plants Festuca duriotagana
Flowering Plants Galium corrudifolium
Flowering Plants Glaucium flavum
Flowering Plants Lotus tenuis
Flowering Plants Melilotus albus
Flowering Plants Mercurialis tomentosa
Flowering Plants Micromeria graeca
Flowering Plants Nerium oleander
Flowering Plants Ononis ramosissima
Flowering Plants Paspalum distichum
Flowering Plants Plantago sempervirens
Flowering Plants Saponaria officinalis
Flowering Plants Satureja montana
Flowering Plants Scrophularia canina
Flowering Plants Seseli tortuosum
Flowering Plants Silene inaperta
Flowering Plants Teucrium flavum
Flowering Plants Thalictrum foetidum
Flowering Plants Vitex agnus-castus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Andryala integrifolia Flowering Plants
Artemisia campestris Flowering Plants
Asperula purpurea Flowering Plants
Astragalus onobrychis Flowering Plants
Centranthus ruber Flowering Plants
Chenopodium botrys Flowering Plants
Chondrilla juncea Flowering Plants
Cynodon dactylon Flowering Plants
Cyperus fuscus Flowering Plants
Dittrichia viscosa Flowering Plants
Dorycnium hirsutum Flowering Plants
Elymus repens Flowering Plants
Erucastrum nasturtiifolium Flowering Plants
Euphorbia rigida Flowering Plants
Festuca duriotagana Flowering Plants
Galium corrudifolium Flowering Plants
Glaucium flavum Flowering Plants
Lotus tenuis Flowering Plants
Melilotus albus Flowering Plants
Mercurialis tomentosa Flowering Plants
Micromeria graeca Flowering Plants
Nerium oleander Flowering Plants
Ononis ramosissima Flowering Plants
Paspalum distichum Flowering Plants
Plantago sempervirens Flowering Plants
Saponaria officinalis Flowering Plants
Satureja montana Flowering Plants
Scrophularia canina Flowering Plants
Seseli tortuosum Flowering Plants
Silene inaperta Flowering Plants
Teucrium flavum Flowering Plants
Thalictrum foetidum Flowering Plants
Vitex agnus-castus Flowering Plants

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available
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