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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Stuckenia pectinata community

Physical habitat description

Salinity Variable (18-35 ppt), Low (<18ppt)
Wave exposure Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Mud and sandy mud (often with some stones and shells)
Zone Infralittoral, Sublittoral fringe
Depth Band 0-5 m
Other Features

Biotope origin

Derived using data from Recording (Phase II)
Faunal group Epifauna

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.SMp.Ang.NVC A12 <I>Stuckenia pectinata</I> community

  • 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.


Low and variable salinity infralittoral mud with beds of Stuckenia pectinata. Other associated species are broadly similar to that of SS.SMp.SSgr.Rup, with blankets of filamentous green algae such as Ulva intestinalis, Cladophora liniformis, and Rhizoclonium riparium. The grazing gastropod Potamopyrgus antipodarum is found in this biotope and juvenile Mytilus edulis have been observed settled on Potamogeton leaves and amongst the algae. The nationally scarce charophyte Lamprothamnium papulosum may be found to some extent in this biotope but more often in neighbouring habitats (see Plaza & Sanderson 1997). Mysids, trout (Salmo trutta), and sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus can be found swimming amongst the vegetation. Mya arenaria may be found in some examples of this biotope. The infaunal component of this biotope requires further investigation but is likely to contain oligochaetes, Arenicola marina, Corophium volutator and Gammarus spp. This biotope is furhter described as NVC type A12 (Rodwell 1995).


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
Potamogeton 26 Frequent 61-80%
Mysidae 25 Frequent 41-60%
Potamopyrgus antipodarum 23 Frequent 41-60%
Stuckenia pectinata 8 Common 21-40%
Cladophora liniformis 4 Frequent 21-40%
Mytilus edulis 4 Occasional 21-40%
Chara aspera 3 Frequent 1-20%
Ulva intestinalis 2 Frequent 1-20%
Filamentous green algae 2 Occasional 1-20%
Salmo trutta 2 Occasional 1-20%
Peringia ulvae 1 Occasional 1-20%
Gasterosteus aculeatus 1 Occasional 21-40%

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Similar associated species but Ruppia, if present in SS.SMp.Ang.NVC A12, does not form distinct beds.

Classification history of this biotope or habitat type

Classification version Code Habitat name
2015 (15.03) SS.SMp.Ang.NVC A12 Potamogeton pectinatus community
2004 (04.05) SS.SMp.Ang.NVC A12 Potamogeton pectinatus community
1997 (97.06) SS.IMU.Ang.A12 Potamogeton pectinatus community
1996 (6.95) SS.IMU.Pot Potamogeton pectinatus community

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