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LS.LMu.UEst.Hed.Str
Hediste diversicolor and Streblospio shrubsolii in littoral sandy mud

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Variable (18-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered 
 Tidal streams:  
 Substratum: Mud; sandy mud 
 Zone:  
 Depth Band: Lower shore, Mid 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:
LMU.Mu.HedStr (part) - Version: 97.06

Distribution of habitat LS.LMu.UEst.Hed.Str  Hediste diversicolor and Streblospio shrubsolii in littoral sandy mud
Distribution of habitat LS.LMu.UEst.Hed.Str Hediste diversicolor and Streblospio shrubsolii in littoral sandy 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 and sandy mud shores in sheltered marine inlets and estuaries subject to variable or reduced salinity. The biotope is typically found on the mid and lower shores and is often associated with shallow layers of cobbles and pebbles in the sediment in the upper and mid estuary. The sediment is anoxic close to the surface and remains water saturated during low tide. The infaunal polychaete community is dominated by dense Hediste diversicolor, as well as species with a limited salinity range tolerance such as Streblospio shrubsolii and Manayunkia aestuarina. Oligochaetes, including Heterochaeta costata and Tubificoides benedii are often abundant, and the amphipod Corophium volutator is often common.

Situation

Hed.Str may occur on the same shores as HedMacScr, HedMac, NhomAph or Hed.Cvol. Higher up on the shore, and/or further towards the head of the estuary, Hed.Ol may occur, changing to Tben at the upper extreme of the estuary.

Temporal variation

Enteromorpha spp. or Ulva lactuca may form mats on the surface of the sediment during the summer months, particularly in areas of freshwater influence and/or where there is nutrient enrichment.

Similar biotopes

LS.LMu.UEst.Hed.OlOccurs under more reduced salinity conditions. The infauna is a lot less diverse, dominated by H. diversicolor and oligochaetes. S. shrubsolii is absent.
LS.LMu.UEst.NhomStrOccurs on slightly more marine, exposed shores, with a higher diversity of polychaete species, but hardly any other infauna.
LS.LMu.MEst.HedMacScrOccurs at a greater range of shore heights on slightly more marine, exposed shores. The infauna is more diverse, most notably a range of bivalve species occur, including Scrobicularia plana.
LS.LMu.UEst.Hed.CvolOccurs under similar physical environments, sometimes higher on the shore. The infauna is less diverse, with lower numbers of oligochaete and polychaete species. S. shrubsolii is absent.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity Abundance (no.2)
Hediste diversicolor S 20 2020
Streblospio shrubsolii A 23 3033
Manayunkia aestuarina C 7 4526
Oligochaeta A 11 6592
Heterochaeta costata A 5 2386
Tubificoides benedii A 18 4557
Corophium volutator C 6 2897

Example photographs of biotope


Dense Hediste burrows, N shore of Skippers Island, Hamford Water., Colin McLeod, © JNCC View along shore showing saltmarsh step. Corer in gravelly mud in foreground., W of Manningtree railway bridge, River Stour., Matthew Frost, © JNCC Chris Emblow and Angela Moffat sediment sampling on shore., N shore of Skippers Island, Hamford Water., Colin McLeod, © JNCC
Click on an image for a larger view


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