Pilularia globulifera 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Polypodiopsida Salviniales Marsileaceae

Scientific Name: Pilularia globulifera
Species Authority: L.
Common Name(s):
English Pillwort
French Pilulaire à globules
Taxonomic Source(s): Christenhusz, M.J.M. and Chase, M.W. 2014. Trends and concepts in fern classification. Annals of Botany 113: 571-594.
Taxonomic Notes:

There are no significant taxonomic issues associated with this name.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-06-03
Assessor(s): Lansdown, R.V.
Reviewer(s): Rumsey, F. & Bilz, M.
European regional assessment: Near Threatened (NT)
EU 27 regional assessment: Near Threatened (NT)
This species is classed as Near Threatened because, although it has a very large distribution, most areas supporting populations have good evidence to suggest a decline, however available information is insufficient to assign it to a threat class. It is most likely to be assigned to Vulnerable A2 or A4.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Pilularia globulifera is endemic to western Europe, where it occurs in southern Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland extending westwards to the Iberian Peninsula and southwards to Italy and Serbia.
Countries occurrence:
Belgium; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Finland; France (France (mainland)); Germany; Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland)); Latvia; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Serbia (Serbia); Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Pilularia globuliferais classed as Critically Endangered in Germany and Switzerland, Endangered in Norway and Spain, Vulnerable in Finland and Sweden, Near Threatened in the United Kingdom and Data Deficient in Croatia. It is protected at a national level in France.

Most information suggests that populations throughout its range are declining, although it must be recognised that it is often overlooked, typically occurs as dynamic metapopulations due to its habitat requirements and that in almost all cases detailed searches have discovered new populations or relocated populations that were believed lost.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Pilularia globulifera typically occupies bare gravel or silt on the margins of lakes, ponds and temporary pools usually in areas where fluctuating water levels suppress competition from higher plants, it will also survive permanently submerged.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Pilularia globulifera is increasingly sold for garden ponds and it is not clear whether this trade affects wild populations.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to P. globulifera are stabilisation of water levels and drainage of temporary wetlands, it is possible that even low-level eutrophication may pose a threat as it enables colonisation of otherwise unsuitable habitat by more aggressive plants. Invasive macrophytes such as Crassula helmsii pose another serious threat to this plant.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Pilularia globulifera is classed as Critically Endangered in Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic (D. Turonova pers.comm. 2010). It is categorized Endangered in Norway (A2bc; B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(v)) and Spain, Vulnerable in Finland (A1c) and in Sweden (B2ab(ii,iii,v)), Near Threatened in the United Kingdom and Data Deficient in Croatia. It is protected at a national level in France.

It is recommended to carry out surveys to determine the actual species distribution and to monitor the existing populations and their habitats.

Citation: Lansdown, R.V. 2011. Pilularia globulifera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T167887A6406472. . Downloaded on 25 July 2017.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided