Skip to Content

Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

To understand more about what this page is describing, see How to use the classification. See also How to cite.

   Circalittoral muddy sand


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Exposed, Moderately exposed
Tidal streams Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Fine to very fine sand with a fine silt fraction
Zone Circalittoral
Depth Band 10-20 m, 20-30 m, 30-50 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.SSa.CMuSa Circalittoral 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'
  • 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.

Description

Circalittoral non-cohesive muddy sands with the silt content of the substratum typically ranging from 5% to 20%. This habitat is generally found in water depths of over 15-20m and supports animal-dominated communities characterised by a wide variety of polychaetes, bivalves such as Abra alba and Nucula nitidosa, and echinoderms such as Amphiura spp and Ophiura spp., and Astropecten irregularis. These circalittoral habitats tend to be more stable than their infralittoral counterparts and as such support a richer infaunal community.

Situation

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 % of core records where taxon was recorded
Cerianthus lloydii 1 Frequent 41-60 %
Metridium senile 5 Rare 21-40 %
Sagartiogeton undatus 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Nemertea 2 41-60 %
Sthenelais limicola 1 41-60 %
Goniada maculata 2 41-60 %
Nephtys 5 Common 61-80 %
Nephtys hombergii 2 Common 41-60 %
Scoloplos armiger 3 61-80 %
Prionospio fallax 1 41-60 %
Spiophanes bombyx 6 Frequent 61-80 %
Chaetozone setosa 6 Common 61-80 %
Scalibregma inflatum 2 41-60 %
Owenia fusiformis 2 41-60 %
Terebellidae 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Lanice conchilega 2 41-60 %
Lanice conchilega 4 Occasional 41-60 %
Bathyporeia tenuipes 1 41-60 %
Pagurus bernhardus 8 Occasional 61-80 %
Macropodia rostrata 2 Rare 21-40 %
Corystes cassivelaunus 1 41-60 %
Corystes cassivelaunus 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Liocarcinus depurator 2 Rare 21-40 %
Philine aperta 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Nucula nitidosa 11 Frequent 81-100 %
Solenidae 2 Super abundant 21-40 %
Fabulina fabula 7 Common 61-80 %
Gari fervensis 1 41-60 %
Abra alba 12 Abundant 81-100 %
Abra prismatica 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Chamelea gallina 1 41-60 %
Astropecten irregularis 6 Occasional 41-60 %
Asterias rubens 14 Occasional 61-80 %
Amphiura brachiata 18 Common 61-80 %
Ophiura albida 1 Abundant 41-60 %
Ophiura albida 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Ophiura ophiura 6 Occasional 41-60 %
Echinocardium cordatum 5 Rare 41-60 %
Labidoplax digitata 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Pomatoschistus minutus 3 Occasional 21-40 %

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.


Back to top