Zostera noltii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Najadales Zosteraceae

Scientific Name: Zostera noltii Hornem.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Dwarf Eelgrass
Spanish Seda de mar estrecha
Nanozostera noltii (Hornem.) Toml. & Posl.
Zostera minor Rchb.
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2015. The Plant List. Version 1.1. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This species has been reclassified as Nanozostera (Tomlinson and Posluzny 2001), although here it is retained in the genus Zostera. Genetic information is needed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-10-10
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): Livingstone, S., Harwell, H. & Carpenter, K.E.
Zostera noltii is widespread in the northern Atlantic. It is a fast growing species. There have been local declines in some regions due to loss of water clarity from sedimentation, coastal development and wasting disease. However the declines are not significant enough to trigger any of the threatened categories. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Zostera noltii occurs in the eastern Atlantic as well as the Baltic, Mediterranean, Black, Caspian and Aral Seas. Zostera noltii also occurs in western Africa in Mauritania and in the Canary and Cape Verde Islands.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Cape Verde; Croatia; Denmark; France; Germany; Greece; Israel; Italy; Kazakhstan; Mauritania; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Spain; Sweden; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Kingdom
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):10
Upper depth limit (metres):0
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is known to be declining in the Black, Caspian and Aral Seas. There is little available information on the population status in other regions, but the overall status is most likely decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Zostera noltii is a small seagrass species occurring in intertidal and subtidal areas (den Hartog 1970). This species can occur in areas of low salinity and co-occurs with Ruppia spp. at the inner edges (0.5-1.5 m depth) of Zostera marina beds. It is found in coastal and estuarine areas with soft sedimentation to a maximum depth of 10 m. This species can also live under permanent subtidal conditions in small brackish streams and coastal lagoons with euryhaline conditions. It is never found below the low-tide mark. Highest salinity level tolerated is 25-51 psu (Green and Short 2003).

The critical level of burial or erosion tolerated by this species is extremely low (between 4 and 8 cm) due to the small size of the species and the lack of vertical rhizomes (Cabaco and Santos 2007).

This species forms single species meadows in the Mediterranean Bioregion (Short et al. 2007). In the Black Sea, Z. noltii is found in pure and mixed stands from 0.2-10 m depth on sandy substrates. It has 62 species of macroalgae associated with it (Milchakova 1999).
Systems:Freshwater; Marine
Generation Length (years):1

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to Zostera noltii. However there have been local declines in some regions due to loss of water clarity from sedimentation, coastal development and wasting disease. Zostera noltii is sensitive to eutrophication (Short and Burdick 1995) and is highly affected by shading (Van Lent et al. 1991). Nutrient loading from runoff has resulted in some local declines. Seagrass beds of Z. noltii can recover from the stress of eutrophication when measures are put in place to manage the system (Marques et al. 2003). Zostera noltii is outcompeted by macroalgae in nutrient-enriched waters (Verdelhos et al. 2005).

The invasive species Caulerpa racemosa may interfere with the interaction between C. nodosa and Z. noltii when they occur in the same habitat (Ceccherelli et al. 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no specific conservation measures for Zostera noltii.

This species is Listed in the Rio Declaration as diverse habitats in need of protection and monitoring.

This species is found in two national nature reserves in Caspian Sea (Green and Short 2003), and may be found in other Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

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. Zostera noltii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T173361A6999224. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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