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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

Biotope origin

Derived using data from Various
Faunal group Epifauna/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.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 SS.SMu.SMuLS and are characterised by Arenicola marina with other species, including mysids, tubificoid and enchytraeid oligochaetes, Corophium volutator, Hediste diversicolor, Pygospio elegans, Peringia 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 stellaris may be super-abundant and the isopod Lekanesphaera 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%
Mysidae 30 Frequent 41-60%
Tubificoides benedii 20 61-80%
Chironomidae 10 61-80%
Chaetomorpha linum 7 Frequent 21-40%
Fucus vesiculosus 7 Occasional 21-40%
Gasterosteus aculeatus 5 Rare 21-40%
Pomatoschistus 5 Rare 21-40%
Corophium volutator 2 Rare 21-40%

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.SSa.SSaLS Sublittoral sand in low or reduced salinity (lagoons)
2004 (04.05) SS.SSa.SSaLS Sublittoral sand in low or reduced salinity (lagoons)

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