Correspondences between UK Coastal Habitats Types


The table below shows how the different coastal habitat types recognised by the mainstream habitat classifications in the UK relate to each other. The types included are those recognised under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP), the EU Habitats Directive, and the British National Vegetation Classifiction (NVC).


The table shows only how the types broadly fit together – examples of certain types may fit into other types. For more detailed information see the NBN dictionary of habitat correspondences interactive spreadsheet.


Click on the links to access the definitions of the UK BAP and EU Annex I types. Full definitions of the NVC types are available via the British Plant Communities books.


UK BAP priority habitats

EU Habitats Directive Annex I habitats

National Vegetation Classification types

Coastal vegetated shingle

H1210 Annual vegetation of drift lines

SD2 Honkenya peploides-Cakile maritima strandline community

SD3 Matricaria maritima-Galium aparine strandline community on stony substrates community

MC6 Atriplex prostrata-Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima sea-bird cliff community (on shingle beaches only)

H1220 Perennial vegetation of stony banks

SD1 Rumex crispus-Glaucium flavum shingle community

Maritime cliff and slopes

H1230 Vegetated sea cliffs of the Atlantic and Baltic coasts

MC1 Crithmum maritimum-Spergularia rupicola maritime rock-crevice community

MC2 Armeria maritima-Ligusticum scoticum maritime rock-crevice community

MC3 Rhodiola rosea-Armeria maritima maritime cliff-ledge community

MC4 Brassica oleracea maritime cliff-ledge community

MC5 Armeria maritima-Cerastium diffusum ssp. diffusum maritime therophyte community

MC6 Atriplex prostrata-Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima sea-bird cliff community

MC7 Stellaria media-Rumex acetosa sea-bird cliff community

MC8 Festuca rubra-Armeria maritima maritime grassland

MC9 Festuca rubra-Holcus lanatus maritime grassland

MC10 Festuca rubra-Plantago spp. maritime grassland

MC11 Festuca rubra-Daucus carota ssp. gummifer maritime grassland

MC12 Festuca rubra-Hyacinthoides non-scripta maritime bluebell community

Coastal saltmarsh

H1310 Salicornia and other annuals colonising mud and sand

SM7 Arthrocnemum perenne stands

SM8 Annual Salicornia salt-marsh community

SM9 Suaeda maritima salt-marsh community

SM27 Ephemeral salt-marsh vegetation with Sagina maritima

H1320 Spartina swards (Spartinion maritimae)

SM4 Spartina maritima salt-marsh community

SM5 Spartina alterniflora salt-marsh community

SM13f Puccinellia maritima salt-marsh community, Puccinellia maritima sub-community

H1330 Atlantic salt meadows (Glauco-Puccinellietalia maritimae)

SM10 Transitional low-marsh vegetation with Puccinellia maritima, annual Salicornia species and Suaeda maritima

SM11 Aster tripolium var. discoideus salt-marsh community

SM12 Rayed Aster tripolium salt-marsh community

SM13 Puccinellia maritima salt-marsh community

SM14 Halimione portulacoides salt-marsh community

SM15 Juncus maritimus-Triglochin maritima salt-marsh community

SM16 Festuca rubra salt-marsh community (coastal examples only)

SM17 Artemisia maritima salt-marsh community

SM18 Juncus maritimus salt-marsh community

SM19 Blysmus rufus salt-marsh community

SM20 Eleocharis uniglumis salt-marsh community

H1420 Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophilous scrubs (Sarcocornetea fruticosi)

SM7 Arthrocnemum perenne stands

SM21 Suaeda vera-Limonium binervosum salt-marsh community

SM25 Suaeda vera drift-line community

Coastal sand dunes

H2110 Embryonic shifting dunes

SD4 Elymus farctus ssp. boreali-atlanticus foredune community

H2120 Shifting dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria (`white dunes`)

SD6 Ammophila arenaria mobile dune community

SD5 Leymus arenarius mobile dune community

H2130 Fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation (`grey dunes`)

SD7 Ammophila arenaria-Festuca rubra semi-fixed dune community

SD8 Festuca rubra-Galium verum fixed dune grassland community

SD9a Ammophila arenaria-Arrhenatherum elatius dune grassland, typical sub-community

SD9b Ammophila arenaria-Arrhenatherum elatius dune grassland, Geranium sanguineum sub-community

SD11 Carex arenaria-Cornicularia aculeata dune community

SD12 Carex arenaria-Festuca ovina-Agrostis capillaris dune grassland

CG10 Festuca ovina-Agrostis capillaris-Thymus praecox grassland

CG13 Dryas octopetala-Carex flacca heath

H2140 Decalcified fixed dunes with Empetrum nigrum

H11b Calluna vulgaris-Carex arenaria heath, Empetrum nigrum ssp. nigrum sub-community

H2150 Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp.

H1d Calluna vulgaris-Festuca ovina heath, Carex arenaria sub-community

H11a Calluna vulgaris-Carex arenaria heath, Erica cinerea sub-community

H11c Calluna vulgaris-Carex arenaria heath, species-poor sub-community

H10 Calluna vulgaris-Erica cinerea heath

H2160 Dunes with Hippophaë rhamnoides

SD18 Hippophaë rhamnoides dune scrub

H2170 Dunes with Salix repens ssp. argentea (Salicion arenariae)

SD16 Salix repens-Holcus lanatus dune slack community

H2190 Humid dune slacks

SD13 Sagina nodosa-Bryum pseudotriquetrum dune slack community

SD14 Salix repens-Campylium stellatum dune slack community

SD15 Salix repens-Calliergon cuspidatum dune slack community

SD17 Potentilla anserina-Carex nigra dune slack community

H2250 Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp.



H21A0 Machair

SD8a Festuca rubra-Galium verum fixed dune community, typical sub-community

SD8c Tortula ruralis ssp. ruraliformis sub-community

SD8d Festuca rubra-Galium verum fixed dune grassland, Ranunculus acris-Bellis perennis sub-community

SD8e Festuca rubra-Galium verum grassland, Prunella vulgaris sub-community

MG11 inundation grassland

SD17 Potentilla anserina-Carex nigra dune slack, Agrostis stolonifera ­sub-community

[created May 2010]

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