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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Sublittoral sand in low or reduced salinity (lagoons)

Physical habitat description

Salinity Reduced (18-30ppt), Low (<18ppt)
Wave exposure
Tidal streams Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Medium to fine sand with a minor silt fraction
Zone Infralittoral
Depth Band 0-5 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.SSaLS Sublittoral sand in low or reduced salinity (lagoons)

  • 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.


Shallow sand and muddy sand in areas of low or reduced, although relatively stable salinity (may vary annually), with largely ephemeral faunal communities. The species are often similar to that found in SMuLS and are characterised by Arenicola marina with other species, including mysids, tubificoid and enchytraeid oligochaetes, Corophium volutator, Hediste diversicolor, Pygospio elegans, Hydrobia ulvae and Cerastoderma glaucum, which commonly occur in lagoons. Filamentous green algae such as Chaetomorpha linum may also be present. In some examples of this biotope the polychaete Fabricia sabella may be super-abundant and the isopod Sphaeroma hookeri common.


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
Capitella capitata 70 Abundant 61-80 %
Arenicola marina 42 Abundant 41-60 %
Tubificoides benedii 20 61-80 %
Mysidae 30 Frequent 41-60 %
Corophium volutator 2 Rare 21-40 %
Chironomida 10 61-80 %
Gasterosteus aculeatus 5 Rare 21-40 %
Pomatoschistus 5 Rare 21-40 %
Fucus vesiculosus 7 Occasional 21-40 %
Chaetomorpha linum 7 Frequent 21-40 %

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

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