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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Bathyporeia pilosa and Corophium arenarium in littoral muddy sand

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams
Substratum Medium to very fine sand, muddy sand
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.MuSa.BatCare <I>Bathyporeia pilosa</I> and <I>Corophium arenarium</I> in littoral muddy 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.


Wave-sheltered, mainly upper and mid shore flats of medium to fine sand, often muddy sand. The salinity, although predominantly recorded as variable, probably varies little from fully marine in these broad estuaries. The infauna is characterised by the amphipods Bathyporeia pilosa, Corophium arenarium and C. volutator, and the spire shell Peringia ulvae. Polychaetes and bivalves are limited in their abundance and variety, though the Baltic tellin Macoma balthica may occur. Tidal streams may be strong during spring tides, accounting for the presence of amphipods B. pilosa that are more commonly associated with open coast sandflats.


This biotope is typically found higher up the shore than sandflats with the cockle Cerastoderma edule (CerPo) in the large sandy estuaries of the west coast of England and Wales. In moderately exposed conditions, BatCare can occur on the mid shore below Tal and/or BarSa. In more sheltered conditions, BatCare may occur above NhomMacStr.

Temporal variation

Not known.

Characterising species

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
Bathyporeia pilosa 74 Abundant 2644 81-100%
Peringia ulvae 13 Abundant 1591 61-80%
Corophium arenarium 5 Common 841 61-80%
Corophium volutator 3 Common 1144 21-40%

Similar biotopes or habitat types

These biotopes are slightly more exposed, with coarser sediments and more marine conditions. The principal infaunal difference is the absence of C. edule and M. balthica.

Occurs in a broader range of salinities, in slightly more exposed and less muddy sediment types, sometimes lower on the same shores as LS.LSa.MuSa.BatCare. It has a higher species diversity, most notably a range of polychaetes, as well as the cockle C. edule and denser populations of the Baltic tellin M. balthica.

This occurs in full salinity fine sand. The lugworm Arenicola marina and the Baltic tellin M. balthica are consistently present, and Macomangulus tenuis may occur. There tends to be a greater range of polychaetes, but amphipods are absent.

This occurs in muddier, more sheltered estuaries than LS.LSa.MuSa.BatCare. B. pilosa is absent in the muddy sediment, but the ragworm Hediste diversicolor is abundant.

Classification history of this biotope or habitat type

Classification version Code
1997 (97.06) LMS.MS.BatCor


LS.LSA.MUSA.BatCare Bathyporeia pilosa and Corophium arenarium in littoral muddy sand, W Angerton, Duddon estuary. Dave Mills© JNCC
LS.LSA.MUSA.BatCare Bathyporeia pilosa and Corophium arenarium in littoral muddy sand, W Angerton, Duddon estuary. Dave Mills© JNCC

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