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.

   Species-rich mixed sediment shores

Physical habitat description

Salinity Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams
Substratum Mixed sediments
Depth Band Lower shore, Mid shore
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 LS.LMx.Mx Species-rich mixed sediment shores

  • 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.


Sheltered mixed sediments, usually subject to variable salinity conditions. The infauna is very diverse, dominated by a range of polychaetes including Exogone naidina, Sphaerosyllis taylori, Pygospio elegans, Chaetozone gibber, Cirriformia tentaculata, Aphelochaeta marioni, Capitella capitata, Mediomastus fragilis, and Melinna palmata. The oligochaete worms Tubificoides benedii and T. pseudogaster are abundant, as is the cockle Cerastoderma edule. A large range of amphipods may occur, including Melita palmata, Microprotopus maculatus, Aora gracilis and Corophium volutator. The bivalves Abra alba and A. nitida may occur. The barnacle Austrominius modestus may be abundant where the sediment has stones on the surface.


***Mid shore, lower shore, as extension of shallow sublittoral biotope.

Temporal variation

Not known.

Characterising species

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
Aphelochaeta marioni 38 Abundant 18535 81-100%
Tubificoides benedii 20 Abundant 7945 81-100%
Tubificoides pseudogaster 11 Abundant 2938 81-100%
Exogone naidina 7 Abundant 9504 61-80%
Melinna palmata 3 Abundant 648 81-100%
Cerastoderma edule 2 Abundant 638 81-100%
Capitella capitata 2 Common 787 61-80%
Cirriformia tentaculata 2 Super abundant 939 61-80%
Austrominius modestus 1 Abundant 721 21-40%
Mediomastus fragilis 1 Common 268 61-80%
Pygospio elegans 1 Frequent 608 61-80%
Sphaerosyllis taylori 1 Common 1530 61-80%
Chaetozone gibber 1 Common 779 61-80%

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

Back to top