Description of biotope or habitat type
Hesionura elongata and Microphthalmus similis with other interstitial polychaetes in infralittoral mobile coarse sand
Physical habitat description
|Salinity||Full (30-35 ppt)|
|Wave exposure||Exposed, Moderately exposed, Sheltered|
|Tidal streams||Strong (3-6 kn), Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn)|
|Substratum||Medium to very coarse sand|
|Depth Band||5-10 m, 10-20 m|
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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'
- Predicted extent of the level 3 (for sublittoral rock & deep sea) or 4 (for sublittoral sediment) habitat
On infralittoral sandbanks and sandwaves and other areas of mobile medium-coarse sand, populations of interstitial polychaetes may be found. These habitats consist of loosely packed grains of sand forming waves up to several metres high often with gravel, or occasionally silt, in the troughs of the waves. This biotope is commonly found both inshore along the east coast of the UK e.g. around the Race Bank, Docking Shoal and Inner Dowsing banks (IECS, 1995; IECS, 1999), and in the Southern Bight of the North Sea and off the Belgian coast (Degraer et al. 1999; Vanosmael et al. 1982). These habitats support interstitial communities living in the spaces between the grains of sand, in particular hesionurid polychaetes such as Hesionura elongata and Microphthalmus similis, along with protodrilid polychaetes such as Protodrilus spp. and Protodriloides spp. Other important species may include Turbellaria spp. and larger deposit feeding polychaetes such as Travisia forbesii. An important feature of this biotope which is not reflected in much of the available data is the importance of the meiofaunal population which may exceed the macrofaunal population both in terms of abundance and biomass (Willems et al. 1982).
This biotope is commonly found both in shore adjacent to the coast, and further away from the coast.
No temporal data available.
|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|
|Hesionura elongata||4||Common||115||21-40 %|
|Glycera lapidum||3||6||21-40 %|
|Microphthalmus similis||6||Frequent||73||21-40 %|
|Nephtys cirrosa||3||3||21-40 %|
|Travisia forbesii||5||Common||18||1-20 %|
|Spisula elliptica||1||2||1-20 %|
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