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LS.LSa.FiSa.Po.Aten
Polychaetes and Angulus tenuis in littoral fine sand

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered 
 Tidal streams:  
 Substratum: Fine sand 
 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:
LGS.S.AP.P (part) - Version: 97.06
LGS.S.AP.Pon (part) - Version: 97.06
LSND.AP (part) - Version: 6.95

Distribution of habitat LS.LSa.FiSa.Po.Aten  Polychaetes and Angulus tenuis in littoral fine sand
Distribution of habitat LS.LSa.FiSa.Po.Aten Polychaetes and Angulus tenuis in littoral 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

This biotope occurs on the mid and lower shore on moderately wave-exposed and sheltered coasts, with predominantly fine sand which remains damp throughout the tidal cycle. The sediment is often rippled, and an anoxic layer may occasionally occur below a depth of 10 cm, though it is often patchy. The infaunal community is dominated by the abundant bivalve Angulus tenuis together with a range of polychaetes. The presence of polychaetes may be seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment. Polychaetes that are characterising for this biotope include Nephtys cirrosa, Paraonis fulgens and Spio filicornis. Burrowing amphipods Bathyporeia spp. may occur in some samples of this biotope.

Situation

Where it occurs under moderately exposed conditions, AmSco.Eur, Po.Pful or Ol.FS may be present higher up on the shore than Po.Aten. Where it occurs under more sheltered conditions, Po.Aten may occur below or alongside muddy sand biotopes such as CerPo and BatCare.

Temporal variation

The infauna of this biotope may be reduced during winter, as increased storminess and wave action increases sediment mobility and may lead to some species migrating or being washed out of the sediment.

Similar biotopes

LS.LSa.FiSa.Po.PfulOccurs higher on the shore. The sediments of Po.Aten are more stable than in the case of Po.Pful and therefore support bivalves, especially A. tenuis.
LS.LSa.FiSa.Po.NcirOccurs lower on the shore in slightly coarser sand. A. tenuis is absent or occurs in very low abundance, Nephtys spp. dominate the infauna.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity Abundance (no.2)
Nephtys cirrosa C 5 44
Paraonis fulgens A 1 40
Spio filicornis C 3 84
Bathyporeia elegans C 2 54
Bathyporeia pilosa C 1 96
Angulus tenuis A 74 434

Example photographs of biotope


Fine sand dominated by polychaetes and bivalves., N of Llanaber (shore), Barmouth., Paul Brazier, © 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