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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

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 (SCS.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 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. 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 allied (the same?) as the 'Venus fasciata' community of Cabioch (Glemarec 1973). This biotope may be an epibiotic overlay of the biotope SCS.MoeVen or SCS.MedLumVen.


No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

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
Nematoda 1 7 61-80 %
Pisione remota 18 Frequent 60 81-100 %
Hesionura elongata 3 20 61-80 %
Glycera lapidum 20 Common 70 81-100 %
Aglaophamus malmgreni 5 17 81-100 %
Paradoneis lyra 1 7 61-80 %
Aonides paucibranchiata 1 7 61-80 %
Laonice bahusiensis 1 10 61-80 %
Polygordius 13 Frequent 53 81-100 %
Echinocyamus pusillus 25 Abundant 170 81-100 %
Branchiostoma lanceolatum 10 Abundant 37 81-100 %

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

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