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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Branchiostoma lanceolatum in circalittoral coarse sand with shell gravel

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Moderately exposed, Sheltered
Tidal streams
Substratum Medium to coarse sand with some gravel or shell gravel
Zone Circalittoral
Depth Band 20-30 m, 30-50 m, 50-100 m
Other Features

Biotope origin

Derived using data from Various
Faunal group Infauna

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 SS.SCS.CCS.Blan <I>Branchiostoma lanceolatum</I> in circalittoral coarse sand with shell gravel

  • 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.


Gravel and coarse sand with shell gravel often contains communities of robust venerid bivalves (SS.SCS.CCS.MedLumVen). Shallower examples, such as the biotope presented here, may support a significant population of Branchiostoma lanceolatum. Other conspicuous infauna may include Echinocyamus pusillus, Glycera lapidum, Polygordius, Pisione remota, and Arcopagia crassa (in the south of the UK). Sessile epifauna are typically a minor component of this community. This biotope has been described from a limited number of records and as such may need revising when further data become available. Variants to this biotope may occur in deeper, circalittoral waters, with slightly muddy or gravelly sediments. These transitional forms of the biotope to muddier, or more gravelly sediments may be characterised by polychaetes such as Notomastus latericeus, and the amphipod Urothoe marina. This biotope is related to the 'Boreal Offshore Gravel Association' and 'Deep Venus Community' described by other workers (Ford 1923; Jones 1951), and may also be closely associated with the 'Venus fasciata' community of Cabioch (Glemarec 1973). This biotope may be an epibiotic overlay of the biotope SS.SCS.ICS.MoeVen or SS.SCS.CCS.MedLumVen.


No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

Characterising species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) % of core records where taxon was recorded Relative frequency %
Echinocyamus pusillus 15 1-20% 10
Nemertea 10 1-20% 2.3
Polygordius 8 1-20% 11
Pisione remota 7 1-20% 9.3
Glycera lapidum 7 1-20% 3.1
Branchiostoma lanceolatum 4 1-20% 2.3
Protodorvillea kefersteini 4 1-20% 1.5
Aonides paucibranchiata 3 1-20% 1.5
Malmgrenia ljungmani 3 1-20% 1.3
Sphaerosyllis bulbosa 2 1-20% 1.3
Syllis pontxioi 2 1-20% 1
Asbjornsenia pygmaea 2 1-20% 0.9
Eulalia mustela 2 1-20% 0.8
Glycera oxycephala 2 1-20% 0.6
Porifera 2 1-20% 0.5
Goodallia triangularis 1 1-20% 4.5
Notomastus latericeus 1 1-20% 1.8
Urothoe marina 1 1-20% 1.3
Syllis garciai 1 1-20% 0.9
Notomastus 1 1-20% 0.9
Mediomastus fragilis 1 1-20% 0.8
Goniadella gracilis 1 1-20% 0.7
Laonice bahusiensis 1 1-20% 0.7
Amphipholis squamata 1 1-20% 0.7
Trypanosyllis 1 1-20% 0.6
Copepoda 1 1-20% 0.6
Syllis 1 1-20% 0.6
Nototropis vedlomensis 1 1-20% 0.5
Polycirrus 1 1-20% 0.5
Spisula elliptica 1 1-20% 0.4
Penetrantia concharum 1 1-20% 0.2

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

Classification history of this biotope or habitat type

Classification version Code Habitat name
2015 (15.03) SS.SCS.CCS.Blan Branchiostoma lanceolatum in circalittoral coarse sand with shell gravel
2004 (04.05) SS.SCS.CCS.Blan Branchiostoma lanceolatum in circalittoral coarse sand with shell gravel
1997 (97.06) SS.CGS.Ven.Bra Venerid bivalves and Branchiostoma lanceolatum in circalittoral coarse sand with shell gravel

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