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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Amphiura brachiata with Astropecten irregularis and other echinoderms in circalittoral muddy sand


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Exposed, Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered
Tidal streams Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible)
Substratum fine to very fine muddy sand
Zone Circalittoral
Depth Band 0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 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.CMuSa.AbraAirr <I>Amphiura brachiata</I> with <I>Astropecten irregularis</I> and other echinoderms in circalittoral muddy sand

  • 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.

Description

In shallow, circalittoral non-cohesive muddy sand (typically less than 20% silt/clay) abundant populations of the brittlestar Amphiura brachiata may occur with other echinoderms such as Astropecten irregularis, Asterias rubens, Ophiura ophiura and Echinocardium cordatum. Other infaunal species typically include Mysella bidentata, Lanice conchilega and Magelona filiformis. This biotope is likely to form part of the non-cohesive/cohesive muddy sand communities, which make up the 'off-shore muddy sand association' described by other workers (Jones 1951; Mackie 1990). It is possible that in some areas this biotope forms an epifaunal overlay which may cover a range of biotopes in years of good recruitment but does not develop into a settled or established community.

Situation

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
Corymorpha nutans 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Cerianthus lloydii 1 Frequent 41-60 %
Sagartiogeton undatus 5 Occasional 21-40 %
Peachia cylindrica 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Nemertea 1 41-60 %
Pholoe inornata 2 41-60 %
Nephtys hombergii 1 41-60 %
Magelona alleni 3 41-60 %
Magelona filiformis 5 Frequent 41-60 %
Arenicola marina 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Owenia fusiformis 3 41-60 %
Melinna palmata 2 41-60 %
Terebellidae 1 Frequent 21-40 %
Lanice conchilega 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Myxicola infundibulum 1 Rare 21-40 %
Ampelisca brevicornis 2 41-60 %
Pagurus bernhardus 9 Occasional 61-80 %
Corystes cassivelaunus 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Cancer pagurus 1 Rare 21-40 %
Liocarcinus depurator 1 Rare 21-40 %
Mysella bidentata 30 Common 41-60 %
Ensis arcuatus 1 Frequent 21-40 %
Abra nitida 2 41-60 %
Cochlodesma praetenue 3 41-60 %
Astropecten irregularis 6 Frequent 61-80 %
Asterias rubens 8 Frequent 61-80 %
Amphiura brachiata 36 Super abundant 61-80 %
Amphiura brachiata 26 Abundant 81-100 %
Amphiura filiformis 1 41-60 %
Ophiura ophiura 6 Occasional 41-60 %
Echinocardium cordatum 4 41-60 %
Echinocardium cordatum 4 Occasional 41-60 %
Labidoplax digitata 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Pomatoschistus minutus 3 Occasional 21-40 %
Pleuronectidae 1 Occasional 21-40 %

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.


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