Habitat account - Freshwater habitats
3170 Mediterranean temporary ponds * Priority feature
Background to selection
|Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 3170 Mediterranean temporary ponds. Click image for enlarged map.|
Description and ecological characteristics
Mediterranean temporary ponds consist of winter-flooded areas, which dry out to give vegetation rich in annuals; many of these are nationally rare species of southern European distribution, which are principally confined to this habitat type, for example pygmy rush Juncus pygmaeus, pennyroyal Mentha pulegium and yellow centaury Cicendia filiformis. There are two main pool types: a more acid pool community of trampled and grazed areas, often found on flooded trackways, and a basic pool type on serpentine rock found only at The Lizard, Cornwall.
European status and distribution
Within the EU, Mediterranean temporary ponds are found in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and the UK.
UK status and distribution Click to view UK distribution of this habitat
Only one site in the UK, The Lizard, is known to contain significant areas of this habitat type with the rich assemblages of the rare and local species for which the habitat type is noted; temporary pools in the New Forest support elements of this assemblage, but are not considered to be fully characteristic of the Annex I type.
Site selection rationale
The single UK site where fully characteristic examples of Mediterranean temporary ponds are known to occur has been selected.
|There are widespread examples of the serpentine variant of Mediterranean temporary ponds on the Lizard heaths. A number of rare species, including chives Allium schoenoprasum, dwarf rush Juncus capitatus and land quillwort Isoetes histrix, occur in this habitat type. The acid pool type is the main locality on the Lizard for an important assemblage of rare species, including pigmy rush Juncus pygmaeus, three-lobed crowfoot Ranunculus tripartitus and yellow centaury Cicendia filiformis. A number of these pools support important invertebrate populations, including the water beetles Graptodytes flavipes and Dryops striatellus. However, in many areas the habitat type is much reduced, as trackways that once ensured the creation of the pools have fallen into disuse.|
SACs/SCIs/cSACs where this Annex I habitat is a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selectionNot applicable.
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