Cymodocea nodosa 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Najadales Cymodoceaceae

Scientific Name: Cymodocea nodosa (Ucria) Asch.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Slender Seagrass
Spanish Seba
Zostera nodosa Ucria
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2015. The Plant List. Version 1.1. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-10-24
Assessor(s): Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K.E. & Livingstone, S.
Cymodocea nodosa is common throughout the Mediterranean down the coast of West Africa. The population is thought to be stable although there are local declines reported due to anthropogenic threats. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Cymodocea nodosa is found throughout the Mediterranean Sea and extends into the Atlantic Ocean north to mid-Portugal and south to Madeira and to the Canary and Cape Verde Islands, as well as to Mauritania and Senegal on the coast of Africa.
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; France; Greece; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Libya; Mauritania; Morocco; Portugal; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):40
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Cymodocea nodosa is common throughout the Mediterranean. The overall population is thought to be stable.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In the western Mediterranean, Cymodocea nodosa commonly occurs in shallow water (from a few cm to a depth of 2.5 m) but can reach a depth of 30-40 m, usually found in sandy substrate and sheltered sites. This species is a common seagrass in the eastern Mediterranean, frequently occurs in small sandy pockets that accumulate in crevices or small depressions on rocky flats. In beds, occasionally it is accompanied by Caulerpa prolifera, which may reach 20% of the plant cover. This species forms single species meadows in the Mediterranean Bioregion (Short et al. 2007) but also occurs in meadows with P. oceanica (it is out-competed by this species). Cymodocea nodosa provides important habitat for seahorses.

In Israel, Cymodocea nodosa is found on sandy bottoms at sheltered sites. Populations are subject to large seasonal and year-to-year fluctuations in size, on occasion disappearing completely, eventually to renew from the seed stocks in the sediment. Cymodocea nodosa can survive a moderate level of disturbance.
Generation Length (years):3

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Cymodocea nodosa is threatened locally by mechanical damage from trawling and anchoring from boats and coastal development. Eutrophication is also a problem. This species is found in coastal regions where there is a high level of human disturbance. It is however, a relatively resistant species.

In the Mediterranean, this species is threatened due to competition from seaweed species like Caulerpa taxifolia and Caulerpa racemosa. In the eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea, increased amounts of domestic and industrial pollutants are impacting the species (Green and Short 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Cymodocea nodosa is protected in various marine parks in different countries of the Mediterranean.

Citation: Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C. 2010. Cymodocea nodosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T153535A4516419. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
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