Zostera marina (Linnaeus, 1753)

Zostera marina imageSynonyms: None.

Common names: Rom: Iarba de mare; Russ: Vzmornik morskoy.

Order (Scientific): HELOBIALES.

Family (Scientific): POTAMOGETONACEAE.

Taxonomic description: Creeping rhizome, more or less thickened. Floating linear leaves, 60-150 cm long, 3-9 mm broad, rounded point, with, 3-7 (9) nerves. Multiflorous inflorescence, included in a sheath long of 5-8 cm. flowers placed on a foliaceous sympode. Peduncle more or less thickened under the leaf. Male flowers having only one another next to the female flower, consisting only of one monocarpic ovary. Lanceolate fruit, longitudinally grooved, 2-3.5 mm long, with a bifurcate beak.

Zostera marina arealIUCN Status:
    World level:
    Black Sea Regional level:
    Subregion level: VU


Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: Rocky and sandy bottoms next to seashore and lakes. water quality, human exploitation (by fisherman) General distribution: Europe, Middle East, China, Japan and North America. Water quality; exploitation.

Biology: The detritus to be found amidst these plants constitute a good and abundant food for fish (especially grey mullet) and sea birds. It is also used as fertilizer for reinforcing the home-made bricks. The leaves (seagrass) are used for filling pillows and mattresses, as well as for packing up eggs, pieces of furniture and fragile objects.

Population trends: Severe reduction due to the construction of harbours (Midia, Agigea, Mangalia) near to their typical habitat.

Threats: Increasing turbidity due to the hydrotechnical constructions; exploitation.

Conservation measures taken: None.

Conservation measures proposed: Reduce pollution from coastal point sources.


  1. Bavaru A., Bologa A. S., Skolka H. V., 1991 - A checklist of the benthic marine algae (except the Diatoms) along the Romanian shore of the Black Sea. Rev. Roum. Biol. - biol. veget., 36, 1-2, 7-22.
  2. Bologa A. S., 1987-88 - Annotated bibliography on the macrophytobenthos along the Romanian Black Sea coast (1881-1986). Cercetari marine, 20/21, 353-384.
  3. Bologa A. S., 1979 - Present state of seaweed production along the Romanian Black Sea shore. Vie Milieu, 39, 2, 105-109.
  4. Bologa A. S., Bodeanu N., Petran A., Tiganus V., Zaitsev Yu. P., 1995 - Major modifications of the Black Sea benthic and planktonic biota in the last three decades. Bull. Inst. oceanogr., Monaco, no. special 15, 85-110.
  5. Savulescu T., Nyarady E. I. (Eds.), 1966 - Flora R.S. Romania,vol.XI, Ed. Acad. RSR, Bucuresti; 876.

Compiled by: A.Bologa. A.Bavaru.