Original paper

Juncetum gerardi Nordh. 1923 in the Oder River estuary (NW Poland)

Startek, Bartosz; Ciaciura, Marian


In the Oder River estuary in north-western Poland, coastal saline grasslands of the Juncetum gerardi plant association have been declining. Their presence is largely an artefact of human land use, as the low salinity of the Baltic Sea otherwise permits more generalist species to dominate coastal habitats. A survey Juncetum gerardi stands was conducted at the estuaries of Świna and Dziwna Rivers (which are estuary channels of the Oder) in 2005. It was found that the expanse of Juncetum gerardi stands had decreased dramatically since the 1970s. The main causes are grazing abandonment and changes in the water regime. Even though the species composition of the communities has remained stable for half a century, the continuing decimation of stands poses a serious threat. Protective measures are needed if the Juncetum gerardi grassland of the Oder estuary is to be conserved, including its constituent halophytes, most of which are recognized as endangered species.


western pomeraniacoastal saline grasslandhalophytes