Description of biotope or habitat type
Mytilus edulis beds on littoral mud
Physical habitat description
|Salinity||Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)|
|Wave exposure||Moderately exposed, Sheltered|
|Substratum||Sandy mud and mud|
|Depth Band||Lower shore, Mid shore|
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- 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.
Dense mussel beds found in sheltered conditions on mud. There is a build up of pseudofaeces that results in a bed that is very soft to walk on, and sediment which is anoxic to the surface. Pools are often present in the mussel bed but they tend to contain few species. The sediment infauna is very poor as a result of anoxic conditions. The mussel valves are usually clean, without epifaunal growth. Where this biotope occurs naturally, all age classes are found within the mussel bed. This biotope also includes commercially laid mussel beds on soft sediments, which tend to be of uniform age structure. The species diversity of this sub-biotope is a lot lower than that of the other Myt sub-biotopes.
Occurs on sheltered mudflats, or areas that were previously rocky or cobble fields, but where pseudofaeces have accumulated, leading to the presence of a thick layer of mud.
Mussels may settle on areas of cobble or mixed sediment (Myt.Mx), and lead to the build-up of a thick layer of pseudofaeces, changing the biotope to Myt.Mu over time. The layer of mud can prevent the attachment of mussels to the underlying stable substratum, thus making the mussel bed liable to be washed away during storms. This is known to occur in areas of Morecambe Bay.
Characterising species data not applicable.
Similar biotopes or habitat types
Classification history of this biotope or habitat type