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SS.SCS.ICS.MoeVen
Moerella spp. with venerid bivalves in infralittoral gravelly 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) 
 Substratum: Medium to coarse sand and gravelly sand 
 Zone: Infralittoral 
 Depth Band: 0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 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.SCS.ICS.MoeVen  Moerella spp. with venerid bivalves in infralittoral gravelly sand
Distribution of habitat SS.SCS.ICS.MoeVen Moerella spp. with venerid bivalves in infralittoral gravelly 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

Infralittoral medium to coarse sand and gravelly sand which is subject to moderately strong water movement from tidal streams may be characterised by Moerella spp. with the polychaete Glycera lapidum (agg.) and venerid bivalves. Typical species include Moerella pygmaea or M. donacina with other robust bivalves such as Dosinia lupinus, Timoclea ovata, Goodallia triangularis and Chamelea gallina. Other infauna include nephtyd and spionid polychaetes and amphipod crustacea. Another important component of this biotope in some areas is the bivalve Spisula solida (see Khne & Rachnor 1996) which may be common or abundant. In conjunction with FfabMag this biotope may form part of the 'Shallow Venus Community', the 'Boreal Off-shore Sand Association' and the 'Goniadella-Spisula association' of previous workers (see Petersen 1918; Jones 1951; Thorson 1957; Salzwedel, Rachor & Gerdes 1985). Epifaunal communities may be reduced in this biotope when compared to FfabMag; both types may have surface sand waves which may be indicative of the presence of venerid bivalves (Warwick & Davies 1977). This hypothesis, however, requires testing. Remote grab sampling is likely to under-estimate venerid bivalves and other deep-burrowing and more dispersed species such as Paphia, Ensis and Spatangus. In southern areas of the UK and the North Sea, in slightly siltier sand and shelly sand, SCS.MoeVen may give way to the other Spisula biotope SSA.SsubNhom. Together these two biotopes replace the old biotope IGS.Sell.

Situation

This biotope is found on the exposed open coast and in estuaries with moderately strong tidal currents.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

Similar biotopes

SS.SCS.CCS.MedLumVenSimilar biotope found in deeper water than MoeVen (generally greater than 15-20m), with increased importance of Mediomastus fragilis and Lumbrineris spp.
SS.SSa.IMuSa.FfabMagMore stable than MoeVen, where reduced exposure and/or tidal currents result in a muddy sandy bottom. The community is dominated by Fabulina fabula and Magelona mirabilis.
SS.SCS.ICS.GlapIn areas where the sediment is subject to continual disturbance by wave action MoeVen grades into Glap, which is more impoverished and lacks the venerid bivalve communities.
LS.LSa.FiSa.Po.AtenOn exposed lower shore sand MoeVen may give way to Po.Ang

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity Abundance (no.2)
Anemonia viridis O 1
Nemertea C 5 39
Nematoda F 5 64
Pisione remota C 9 147
Glycera lapidum C 7 84
Streptosyllis websteri P 1 30
Nephtys cirrosa P 3 23
Aonides paucibranchiata F 1 42
Spio filicornis P 4 39
Spiophanes bombyx P 1 8
Lanice conchilega O 10
Bathyporeia pelagica F 1 21
Apseudes latreillii C 6 708
Pagurus bernhardus O 16
Liocarcinus depurator O 6
Carcinus maenas O 2
Goodallia triangularis F 1 33
Spisula solida C 1 31
Moerella donacina A 11 108
Moerella pygmaea F 8 55
Chamelea gallina P 1 10
Timoclea ovata C 2 23
Dosinia lupinus P 2 18
Echinocyamus pusillus P 5 60
Callionymus lyra O 1
Pomatoschistus minutus F 32
Chondrus crispus O 1
Polyides rotundus O 1
Gracilaria gracilis F 9
Laminaria saccharina O 1
Ulva F 4
Ulva F 4

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