Description of biotope or habitat type
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Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments
Physical habitat description
|Salinity||Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt), Low (<18ppt)|
|Wave exposure||Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered|
|Tidal streams||Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn)|
|Depth Band||0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 m|
|Derived using data from||Various|
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.
- Records used to define the biotope (core records)
- Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'certain'
- Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'uncertain'
- Predicted extent of the level 3 (for sublittoral rock & deep sea) or 4 (for sublittoral sediment) habitat
Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot. Predicted habitat extent is from UKSeaMap.
The polychaete Capitella capitata (agg.) a widely occurring opportunist species complex that is particularly associated with organically enriched and polluted sediments (Warren 1977; Pearson & Rosenberg 1978) where it may be superabundant. In very polluted/disturbed areas only Capitella, nematodes and occasional Malacoceros fuliginosus may be found whilst in slightly less enriched areas and estuaries species such as Tubificoides, Cirriformia tentaculata, Pygospio elegans and Polydora ciliata may also be found. In some areas, e.g. the Tees Estuary and Firth of Clyde, high numbers of the polychaete Ophryotrocha may also be present. SS.SMu.ISaMu.Cap may become established as a result of anthropogenic activities such as fish farming and sewerage effluent but may also occur with natural enrichment as a result of, for example, coastal bird roosts. This biotope may also occur to some extent in the intertidal and in estuaries and have a varied sediment composition; where shell fragments are present then some epifaunal species may occur.
This biotope typically occurs in marine inlets, embayments or estuaries where organic enrichment allows C. capitata to out compete other taxa, although the species may also occur in enriched muddy coastal sediments and also offshore where there is a high organic input from adjacent oil drilling platforms (SS.SMu.OMu.CapThy & SS.SMu.OMu.CapThy.Odub).
No temporal data available.
|Taxon||Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%)||Typical abundance - SACFOR scale||Typical abundance - (count per m2)||% of core records where taxon was recorded|
Similar biotopes or habitat types
SS.SMu.SMuVS.CapTubiSS.SMu.ISaMu.Cap tends to occur in fully marine conditions or in estuarine areas of high organic enrichment and can be distinguished by the reduced species richness as compared to SS.SMu.SMuVS.CapTubi.
Classification history of this biotope or habitat type
|Classification version||Code||Habitat name|
|2015 (15.03)||SS.SMu.ISaMu.Cap||Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments|
|2004 (04.05)||SS.SMu.ISaMu.Cap||Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments|
|1997 (97.06)||SS.IMS.SaMS.Cap||Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments|