Aquatic communities in the British National Vegetation Classification system

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This article gives an overview of the aquatic communities in the British National Vegetation Classification system.


The aquatic communities of the NVC were described in Volume 4 of British Plant Communities, first published in 1995, along with the swamps and tall-herb fens.

In total, 24 aquatic communities have been identified.

The aquatic communities fall into the following six groups:

  • four communities of the water surface and sub-surface, in which duckweeds and/or Frogbit are the constant species; these communities (A1, A2, A3 and A4) are found in moderately-rich to eutrophic standing waters
  • eight free-floating or rooted and submerged, pondweed communities (A5, A6, A11, A12, A13, A14, A15 and A21)
  • six communities in which rooted water-lilies and pondweeds with floating leaves are the constant species (A7, A8, A9, A10, A19 and A20)
  • three communities in which water-crowfoots and/or starworts are the constant species (A16, A17 and A18)
  • two hairgrass and quillwort communities (A22 and A23)
  • a single community characterised by free-floating vegetation found in impoverished base-poor standing waters (A24).

List of aquatic communities[edit]

The following is a list of the communities that make up this category:

  • A1 Lemna gibba community Lemnetum gibbae Miyawaki & J. Tx. 1960
  • A2 Lemna minor community Lemnetum minoris Soó 1947
  • A3 Spirodela polyrhiza - Hydrocharis morsus-ranae community
  • A4 Hydrocharis morsus-ranae - Stratiotes aloides community
  • A5 Ceratophyllum demersum community Certaophylletum demersi Hild 1956
  • A6 Ceratophyllum submersum community Certaophylletum submersi Den Hartog & Segal 1964
  • A7 Nymphaea alba community Nymphaeetum albae Oberdorfer & Mitarb. 1967
  • A8 Nuphar lutea community
  • A9 Potamogeton natans community
  • A10 Polygonum amphibium community
  • A11 Potamogeton pectinatus - Myriophyllum spicatum community
  • A12 Potamogeton pectinatus community
  • A13 Potamogeton perfoliatus - Myriophyllum alterniflorum community
  • A14 Myriophyllum alterniflorum community Myriophylletum alterniflori
  • A15 Elodea canadensis community
  • A16 Callitriche stagnalis community
  • A17 Ranunculus penicillatus ssp. pseudofluitans community
  • A18 Ranunculus fluitans community Ranunculetum fluitantis Allorge 1922
  • A19 Ranunculus aquatilis community Ranunculetum aquatilis Géhu 1961
  • A20 Ranunculus peltatus community Ranunculetum peltati Sauer 1947
  • A21 Ranunculus baudotii community Ranunculetum baudotii Br.-Bl. 1952
  • A22 Littorella uniflora - Lobelia dortmanna community
  • A23 Isoetes lacustris/setacea community
  • A24 Juncus bulbosus community.