E-mail se. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals. Abstract Background and Aims Hordeum marinum is a species complex that includes the diploid subspecies marinum and both diploid and tetraploid forms of gussoneanum. Their relationships, the rank of the taxa and the origin of the polyploid forms remain points of debate.
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This is an annual grass of bare soils along the coast. It favours brackish sites which are occasionally flooded in winter but baked hard and dry by midsummer; so it is frequently found by the edges of dried-up pools and ditches, or on ground on the landward side of sea walls which has been rutted by vehicles or trampled by cattle. Characteristic associates in these open communities include Puccinellia distans, Spergularia marina and the scarce species Polypogon monspeliensis, Puccinellia fasciculata and P.
In a few places it also occurs on the upper parts of salt-marshes, especially where these are grazed and trampled by cattle or sheep: associates in these sites can include Festuca rubra, Glaux maritima, Juncus gerardii, Parapholis strigosa, Plantago coronopus and Puccinellia maritima. The mature spikes are very brittle and break tip into little clusters of spikelets which tend to disperse together. Dispersal of spikelets is probably assisted by flooding, as winter flood-lines around pools are often marked the following summer by narrow hanks of H.
Seedlings occur in spring and autumn but the latter may not survive the winter. This is probably the result of the loss of coastal grazing marsh, filling-in of pools and small ditches, and the strengthening and upgrading of sea defences. It is susceptible to successional changes, tending to be overpowered by perennial grasses notably Elytrigia atherica , and thus it requires the continuous creation of open ground.
It is widely distributed in the Mediterranean region, where it grows on both maritime sands and on disturbed ground away tram the coast, and extends along the coast of western Europe to reach its northern limit in the British Isles. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections.
A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Kew Species Profiles General Description A member of the grass family Poaceae , Hordeum marinum is a salt-tolerant wild relative of the economically important cereal barley H. Sea barley occurs on bare soil on the coast, around dried-up salty pools in salt marshes, and on rare occasions may be found on sandy or stony areas. Its tolerance of high salt levels and the water-logging that commonly accompanies it, makes sea barley a candidate for hybridisation with wheat Triticum species. Increasing salinity of arable land is a costly problem for farmers worldwide, reducing plant growth and thus crop yields. Species Profile Geography and distribution The UK is at the northern edge of the distribution of Hordeum marinum , where it grows from the south coast of Wales to its northernmost limit at the Wash.