Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Najadales Potamogetonaceae

Scientific Name: Ruppia cirrhosa
Species Authority: (Petagna) Grande
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Spiral Ditchgrass, Species code: Rc
French Rupelle de trapani, Rupelle spiralée, Ruppie de trapani
Buccaferrea cirrhosa Petagna
Ruppia cirrhosa (Petagna) Grande subspecies longipes (Hagstr.) Á. Löve
Ruppia drepanensis Tineo
Ruppia drepanensis Tineo
Ruppia maritima L. subspecies drepanensis (Tin.) Maire & Weiller
Ruppia maritima L. subspecies spiralis (Dumort.) Asch. & Graebn.
Ruppia spiralis Dumort.
Ruppia trichoides Durieu
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomy of the Ruppia genus is confused. This species can be extremely morphologically variable and respond to differing environmental conditions and therefore species identifications often link to differences in environmental conditions. Flower morphology and genetic studies are needed to evaluate the distribution limits of this species (Larkum et al. 2006). Ruppia cirrhosa is often misidentified as Ruppia maritima and is currently under taxonomic review.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-10-23
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.
This is a hardy and abundant seagrass and has no known threats. Although there are some taxonomic issues due to problems with identification, because it is relatively widespread and fast to colonise and grow, it is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ruppia cirrhosa is found in South Africa, the eastern North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Its distribution is unclear due to taxonomic confusion with Ruppia maritima.
Countries occurrence:
Denmark; France; Ireland; Italy; Norway; Portugal; South Africa; Spain; Tunisia
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – southeast; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is abundant within its range. There is no specific population information available and work is need on its taxonomy before accurate distribution information can be developed.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In western Europe, this species occurs in brackish water sites, such as low-salinity ponds and mesohaline to polyhaline coastal lagoons. This species is rare in marine conditions. Abundance of this species can fluctuate considerably seasonally, and during severe winters it may disappear completely (Green and Short 2003). It is a fast growing species and colonises rapidly.
Systems: Marine
Generation Length (years): 1

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no specific conservation measures for this species.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.10. Marine Neritic - Estuaries
suitability: Suitable  
12. Marine Intertidal -> 12.4. Marine Intertidal - Mud Flats and Salt Flats
suitability: Suitable  
12. Marine Intertidal -> 12.5. Marine Intertidal - Salt Marshes (Emergent Grasses)
suitability: Unknown  
13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.4. Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes
suitability: Unknown  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Green, E.P. and Short, F.T. 2003. World Atlas of Seagrasses. University of California Press, Berkeley.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Larkum, A.W.D., Orth, R.J. and Duarte, C.M. (eds). 2006. Seagrasses: Biology, Ecology and Conservation. Springer, Dordrecht.

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. Ruppia cirrhosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T164280A5808308. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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