Description of biotope or habitat type
Macoma balthica and Arenicola marina in littoral muddy sand
Physical habitat description
|Salinity||Full (30-35 ppt)|
|Wave exposure||Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered|
|Substratum||Fine sand or muddy sand|
|Depth Band||Lower shore, Mid shore, Upper shore|
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.
- 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.
Muddy sand or fine sand, often occurring as extensive intertidal flats both on open coasts and in marine inlets. The sediment is often compacted, with a rippled surface, areas of standing water, and generally remains water-saturated during low water. Scattered stones, cobbles and boulders with attached fucoids may be present. An anoxic layer is usually present within 5cm of the sediment surface and is often visible in worm casts. The habitat may be subject to variable salinity conditions in marine inlets. The species assemblage is characterised by the lugworm Arenicola marina and the Baltic tellin Macoma balthica. The polychaetes Scoloplos armiger and Pygospio elegans are typically superabundant and common, respectively. Oligochaetes, probably mainly Tubificoides benedii and T. pseudogaster, may be common, and the cockle Cerastoderma edule may be abundant.
MacAre has broad transition areas with CerPo and HedMac, which tends to occur lower down on the shore.
|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|
|Scoloplos armiger||13||Super abundant||75||61-80 %|
|Pygospio elegans||4||Common||58||41-60 %|
|Arenicola marina||6||Common||24||81-100 %|
|Cerastoderma edule||11||Abundant||116||41-60 %|
|Macoma balthica||61||Common||248||81-100 %|
Similar biotopes or habitat types
Classification history of this biotope or habitat type