Description of biotope or habitat type
Hediste diversicolor and Macoma balthica in littoral gravelly mud
Habitat (physical) description
|Wave exposure||Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered|
|Depth Band||Lower shore, Mid shore, Strandline, 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.
Sheltered gravelly mud shores, subject to reduced salinity. The infaunal community consists of the ragworm Hediste diversicolor, as well as the spire shell Hydrobia ulvae and the baltic tellin Macoma balthica. The presence of the gravel in the sediment is unlikely to have a large influence on the infaunal composition, which is driven mainly by the estuarine sandy mud conditions. Coarse material on the sediment surface may however enrich the biota with additional epifaunal species such as barnacles and algae. Given the low sample numbers for this biotope, more records are needed to confirm the characterising species list.
It is probable that there are broad transition areas between this biotope, and the corresponding muddy sediment biotope HedMac. The boundaries may be very indistinct, with HedMx.Mac present in patches of gravelly mud on areas of mudflat, where the main biotope is HedMac. This biotope has been found alongside its mud equivalent in the Stour estuary.
|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|
|Hediste diversicolor||61||Super abundant||2388||81-100 %|
|Hydrobia ulvae||25||Common||2296||81-100 %|
|Macoma balthica||11||Common||413||81-100 %|