Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLBLS - Black Sea > BLSA5.5z Seagrass meadows in Pontic moderately exposed upper infralittoral clean sands

Seagrass meadows in Pontic moderately exposed upper infralittoral clean sands

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code BLSA5.5z
Threat status
Europe Data Deficient
EU Data Deficient
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)


The habitat occurs in the upper infralittoral zone, on clean sands at depths between 0.2 to 3m. It is characterized by sedimentary stability and a low silt content of 5-10%. The dominant seagrass species is Zostera noltei, which may form monospecific or mixed meadows (with Zostera marina, Ruppia spp. and Zannichellia pedicellata). Of areas surveyed in detail, the maximum biomass and density of this seagrass in the Black Sea has been measured in the Karkinitsky Bight, where it occurs on sandy substrate mixed with silt. Other species of seagrass are also present in this habitat and 62 macroalgal species. Algae with short life cycles, mostly red algae, dominate, with epiphytic and unattached forms usually prevailing over epilithic forms.

Indicators of quality:

Leaf length, biomass, shoot density have all been identified has indicators of quality. In Romania the following thresholds have been defined: Low fragmentation of habitat; cover of Z. noltei inside the meadow ≥50%; leaf length in June ≥70 cm; annual outward growth of rhizomes from the meadow ≥70 cm; above-ground biomass of Z. noltei in June ≥1,600 g/m2.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

Detailed information on the abundance and extent of this habitat is lacking. Information on the quantity and quality of this habitat including historical or recent trends is unknown. For the purposes of Red List assessment this habitat is therefore considered to be Data Deficient.
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient -
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient -

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Other urbanisation, industrial and similar activities
  • Biological resource use other than agriculture & forestry
    • Professional active fishing
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Outdoor sports and leisure activities, recreational activities
    • Motorised vehicles
    • Other human intrusions and disturbances
    • Trampling, overuse
  • Pollution
    • Nutrient enrichment (N, P, organic matter)

Habitat restoration potential

There is insufficient data and knowledge of this habitat to assess its capacity to recover

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Increasing Increasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Stable
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

The habitat is a characteristic feature of several habitat types listed in Annex 1 of the Habitats Directive like 1110 1150 and 1160
Conservation and management measures which would benefit this habitat include implementing measures to maintain physical and biological integrity, including pollution control and regulation; improvement of water quality management outside EU member states; coastal development controls; contingency plans to be followed in the event of a major pollution incident; survey and monitoring programmes; raised public awareness of ecological value and vulnerability; enhanced legal protection for occurrences of the habitat and key species (e.g. additions to the EU Habitats Directive, establish a unified list of Black Sea species and habitats requiring conservation measures, etc.); and the designation of MPAs.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to marine habitats
    • Other marine-related measures
    • Restoring marine habitats
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Legal protection of habitats and species
  • Measures related to hunting, taking and fishing and species management
    • Regulation/Management of fishery in marine and brackish systems


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

Seas Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Black Sea Present Unknown Stable Decreasing
Sea of Marmara

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 Unknown Unknown Unknown The habitat is known to occur in the Black Sea but there is insufficient data to accurately calculate EOO and AOO.
EU28+ Unknown Unknown The habitat is known to occur in the Black Sea but there is insufficient data to accurately calculate EOO and AOO.
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)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100