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LS.LSa.MuSa
Polychaete/bivalve-dominated muddy sand shores

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt), Reduced (18-30ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered 
 Tidal streams:  
 Substratum: Fine sand or muddy sand 
 Zone:  
 Depth Band: Lower shore, Mid shore, Strandline, Upper 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.
Distribution of habitat LS.LSa.MuSa  Polychaete/bivalve-dominated muddy sand shores
Distribution of habitat LS.LSa.MuSa Polychaete/bivalve-dominated muddy sand shores, 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

Muddy sand or fine sand, often occurring as extensive intertidal flats on open coasts and in marine inlets. The sediment generally remains water-saturated during low water. The habitat may be subject to variable salinity conditions in marine inlets. An anoxic layer may be present below 5 cm of the sediment surface, sometimes seen in the worm casts on the surface. The infauna consists of a diverse range of amphipods, polychaetes, bivalves and gastropods.

Situation

Muddy sand communities are found predominantly on the mid and lower shore, though they may span the entire intertidal. Fine sand or mobile sand communities may be present on the upper shore with muddy sand communities present lower down. In sheltered mid estuarine conditions, muddy sand communities may be present on the upper part of the shore with mid estuarine muddy shore communities (MEST) lower down.

Temporal variation

Not known.

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity Abundance (no.2)
Nematoda C 2 213
Eteone longa A 6 114
Hediste diversicolor C 5 229
Scoloplos armiger A 3 66
Pygospio elegans C 15 670
Capitella capitata F 1 78
Oligochaeta A 6 1703
Bathyporeia pilosa C 3 446
Corophium arenarium C 3 437
Corophium volutator C 3 1074
Crangon crangon C 2 25
Hydrobia ulvae A 11 2829
Cerastoderma edule A 10 504
Macoma balthica C 22 786

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