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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Barren littoral coarse sand


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Very exposed, Exposed, Moderately exposed
Tidal streams
Substratum coarse to fine sand
Zone
Depth Band Lower shore, Mid shore, 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.MoSa.BarSa Barren littoral coarse sand

  • 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'

Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot.

Description

Freely-draining sandy beaches, particularly on the upper and mid shore, which lack a macrofaunal community due to their continual mobility. Trial excavations are unlikely to reveal any macrofauna in these typically steep beaches on exposed coasts. Oligochaetes, probably mainly enchytraeids, and the isopod Eurydice pulchra may be found in extremely low abundances, but if present in any quantity should be classed as Ol or AmSco.Eur. Burrowing amphipods (Bathyporeia spp.) may be present on very rare occasions. Occasionally, other species may be left behind in low abundance by the ebbing tide.

Situation

BarSa may occur on the mid and/or lower shore below BarSh in exposed conditions. In moderately exposed conditions, and where BarSa occurs on the upper shore, a range of relatively more species-rich clean sand communities may occur on the mid and lower shore. These include AmSco, Ol, and Po, depending on the degree of wave exposure and sediment mobility. Tal may occur on the same shore as BarSa, where driftlines of algae and other debris accumulate on the upper shore.

Temporal variation

Not known.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - (count per m2) % of core records where taxon was recorded
Nemertea 52 17 41-60 %
Oligochaeta 15 18 21-40 %
Eurydice pulchra 26 6 21-40 %

Similar biotopes

LS.LCS.Sh.BarSh
Similar physical environment, differentiated solely on the basis of larger sediment particle size.

LS.LSa.MoSa.Ol
Occurs in similar sediment types but in slightly more sheltered conditions. Oligochaetes occur in relatively high densities.

LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Sco
Occurs in slightly more sheltered conditions. The fauna is poor, characterised by the polychaetes Scolelepis squamata and S. foliosa.

LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Pon
Occurs in more sheltered conditions, in sediments with a slightly higher proportion of fine sands. The infauna is more diverse, with the crustaceans Bathyporeia spp. and Pontocrates arenarius common.

LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Eur
Occurs in more sheltered conditions, in sediments with a slightly higher proportion of fine sand. The infauna is more diverse, with the crustaceans Bathyporeia spp. and Eurydice spp. common.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
97.06 LGS.S.BarSnd
6.95 LSND.BAR

Photos

LS.LSA.MOSA.BarSa Barren littoral coarse sand, W Peffer Sands, North Berwick. Rohan Holt © JNCC
LS.LSA.MOSA.BarSa Barren littoral coarse sand, W Peffer Sands, North Berwick. Rohan Holt © JNCC

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