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SS.SMu.CFiMu.BlyrAchi
Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral mud

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered 
 Tidal streams: Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible) 
 Substratum: Silty mud 
 Zone: Circalittoral 
 Depth Band: 20-30 m, 30-50 m, 50-100 m 
 Other Features:  

Download comparative physical and biological data. The comparative tables enable a rapid comparison of the species composition and principal physical characteristics between a given set of biotopes.
Distribution of habitat SS.SMu.CFiMu.BlyrAchi  Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral mud
Distribution of habitat SS.SMu.CFiMu.BlyrAchi Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral mud, based on records on the UK Marine Recorder database and EUSeaMap. Red dots represent records on which the biotope is based. Blue dots show other certain records, black dots show records tentatively assigned to this biotope. Yellow areas show level 2 and 3 sublittoral and deep-sea habitats prediced by EUSeaMap within UK waters.

Biotope description

Mud in deep offshore, or shallower stable nearshore, waters can be characterised by the urchin Brissopsis lyrifera and the brittle star Amphiura chiajei. Where intense benthic dredge fishing activity occurs, populations of the indicator species, Brissopsis lyrifera may be depressed, although broken tests may still remain (E.I.S. Rees pers. comm. 1997; M. Costello pers. comm. 1997). Low numbers of the seapen Virgularia mirabilis may be found in many examples of this biotope. In addition, in certain areas of the UK such as the northern Irish Sea, this community may also contain Nephrops norvegicus and can consequently be the focus for fishing activity (Mackie, Oliver & Rees 1995). Infaunal species in this community are similar to those found in SpnMeg and include the polychaetes Nephtys hystricis, Pectinaria belgica, Glycera spp. and Lagis koreni and the bivalves Myrtea spinifera and Nucula sulcata. This community is the 'Boreal Offshore Mud Association' and 'Brissopsis - Chiajei' communities described by other workers (Petersen 1918; Jones 1950).

Situation

No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

Similar biotopes

SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMegSpnMeg is closely allied to BriAchi and may show strong similarities in infaunal species composition. However, epifaunally they differ in the abundance of characterising species such as Pennatula phosphorea and Amphiura spp.
SS.SMu.CSaMu.AfilMysAnitThis community is similar to AfilMysAnit but tends to occur in deeper and siltier muds. Transitional communities between the two may contain large numbers of Turritella communis.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity Abundance (no.2)
Virgularia mirabilis O 3
Nephtys hystricis P 1
Pectinaria belgica P 2
Amphiura chiajei A 56
Amphiura filiformis A 27
Ophiura ophiura O 3
Brissopsis lyrifera P 2

Example photographs of biotope

No characteristic photos currently available. If you are able to provide a photograph of this biotope please contact .


Version 15.03 of the classification adds a deep-sea section to version 04.05; therefore superseding version 04.05, 97.06 and 03.02.

This online classification should be cited as:

JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed]. Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification

Information from the shallower section (up to sublittoral sediment, taken from Version 04.05) be cited as the report accompanying Version 04.05, as follows:

CONNOR, D.W., J.H. ALLEN, N.GOLDING, K.L.HOWELL, L.M. LIEBERKNECHT, K.O. NORTHEN AND J.B. REKER (2004) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 04.05. In: JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed].
Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification
ISBN 1 861 07561 8


Information from the deep-sea section (added in March 2015) should be cited as the report accompanying the deep-sea section, as follows:

PARRY, M.E.V., K.L. HOWELL, B.E. NARAYANASWAMY, B.J. BETT, D.O.B. JONES, D.J. HUGHES, N. PIECHAUD, T.D. NICKELL, H. ELLWOOD, N. ASKEW, C. JENKINS and E. MANCA (2015) A Deep-sea Section for the Marine Habitat Classification of Britain and Ireland. JNCC report 530. In: JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed].
Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification
ISSN 0963 8901