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SS.SSa.IMuSa.EcorEns
Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis spp. in lower shore and shallow sublittoral slightly muddy fine sand

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Exposed, Moderately exposed, Sheltered 
 Tidal streams: Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible) 
 Substratum: Medium to fine sand; slightly muddy sand 
 Zone: Infralittoral 
 Depth Band: 5-10 m, 10-20 m, 20-30 m, Lower shore 
 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.

Previous code

This biotope occurred in previous versions of the classification as:
IGS.EcorEsil - Version: 96.7

Distribution of habitat SS.SSa.IMuSa.EcorEns  Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis spp. in lower shore and shallow sublittoral slightly muddy fine sand
Distribution of habitat SS.SSa.IMuSa.EcorEns Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis spp. in lower shore and shallow sublittoral slightly muddy fine sand, 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

Sheltered lower shore and shallow sublittoral sediments of sand or muddy fine sand in fully marine conditions, support populations of the urchin Echinocardium cordatum and the razor shell Ensis siliqua or Ensis ensis. Other notable taxa within this biotope include occasional Lanice conchilega, Pagurus and Liocarcinus spp. and Asterias rubens. This biotope has primarily been recorded by epifaunal dive, video or trawl surveys where the presence of relatively conspicuous taxa such as E. cordatum and Ensis spp. have been recorded as characteristic of the community. However, these species, particularly E. cordatum have a wide distribution and are not necessarily the best choice for a characteristic taxa (Thorson, 1957). Furthermore, detailed quantitative infaunal data for this biotope is often rather scarce, possibly as a result of survey method as remote grab sampling is likely to under-estimate deep-burrowing species such as Ensis sp. (Warwick & Davis 1977). Consequently, it may be better to treat this biotope as an epibiotic overlay which is likely to overlap a number of other biotopes such as FfabMag, NcirBat and AalbNuc with infaunal components of these biotopes occurring within EcorEns. The precise nature of this infaunal community will be related to the nature of the substratum, in particular the quantity of silt/clay present. Infaunal species may include the polychaetes Spiophanes bombyx, Magelona mirabilis, Nephtys cirrosa and Chaetozone setosa and the amphipod Bathyporeia spp. This biotope is currently broadly defined and needs further consideration as to whether it should be placed at biotope or biotope complex level. AreISa is another biotope based primarily on epibiotic data. It is likely that this biotope and EcorEns form a wider epibiotic sand /muddy sand community with EcorEns biased towards sandier areas and SSA.AreISa towards slightly muddier areas.

Situation

No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

Similar biotopes

SS.SMp.SSgr.ZmarIn some areas the seagrass Zostera marina may occur in low densites in this biotope but does not form distinct beds as in Zmar.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity Abundance (no.2)
Eteone longa A 1 42
Glycera tridactyla P 2 16
Nephtys cirrosa C 8 52
Spiophanes bombyx C 37 228
Magelona filiformis P 2 63
Magelona mirabilis C 10 425
Chaetozone setosa P 6 63
Arenicola marina O 2
Lanice conchilega O 14
Bathyporeia elegans C 3 62
Bathyporeia pelagica C 5 114
Siphonoecetes kroyeranus P 1 21
Iphinoe trispinosa F 3 24
Pagurus bernhardus O 9
Corystes cassivelaunus R 2
Liocarcinus depurator O 2
Polinices pulchellus R 1
Hinia reticulata F 2
Tellimya ferruginosa P 1 20
Ensis F 10
Ensis ensis S 2 38
Ensis siliqua F 2
Angulus tenuis P 1 45
Chamelea gallina P 2 13
Astropecten irregularis O 1
Asterias rubens O 7
Echinocardium cordatum F 34
Echinocardium cordatum P 1 19
Pomatoschistus O 2
Pleuronectidae F 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