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.

   Infralittoral coarse sediment

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), Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Sand with gravel, pebbles and/or shingle
Zone Infralittoral
Depth Band 0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 m
Other Features Mobile substrata

Biotope origin

Derived using data from Various
Faunal group Epifauna/Infauna

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.SCS.ICS Infralittoral coarse sediment

  • 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.


Moderately exposed habitats with coarse sand, gravelly sand, shingle and gravel in the infralittoral, are subject to disturbance by tidal steams and wave action. Such habitats found on the open coast or in tide-swept marine inlets are characterised by a robust fauna of infaunal polychaetes such as Chaetozone setosa and Lanice conchilega, cumaceans such as Iphinoe trispinosa and Diastylis bradyi, and venerid bivalves.


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
Lanice conchilega 54 Abundant 81-100%
Diastylis bradyi 11 Common 21-40%
Chaetozone setosa 10 Abundant 41-60%
Lanice conchilega 8 Common 41-60%
Pagurus bernhardus 8 Occasional 41-60%
Glycera lapidum 6 Common 21-40%
Nephtys cirrosa 6 21-40%
Asterias rubens 5 Occasional 21-40%
Iphinoe trispinosa 5 Frequent 21-40%
Spio martinensis 5 Frequent 21-40%
Phyllodoce maculata 4 21-40%
Scoloplos armiger 4 Abundant 21-40%
Pomatoschistus minutus 4 Frequent 21-40%
Carcinus maenas 3 Occasional 21-40%
Eteone longa 3 21-40%
Liocarcinus depurator 3 Occasional 21-40%
Nemertea 3 Common 21-40%
Spiophanes bombyx 3 Frequent 21-40%
Ensis ensis 2 Abundant 21-40%
Nephtys hombergii 2 21-40%
Nucula nitidosa 2 Frequent 21-40%
Nematoda 1 21-40%
Abra alba 1 21-40%
Chorda filum 1 Occasional 21-40%
Echinocardium cordatum 1 Occasional 21-40%
Magelona mirabilis 1 Frequent 1-20%
Mediomastus fragilis 1 21-40%

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

Classification history of this biotope or habitat type

Classification version Code Habitat name
2015 (15.03) SS.SCS.ICS Infralittoral coarse sediment
2004 (04.05) SS.SCS.ICS Infralittoral coarse sediment
1997 (97.06) SS.IGS.FaG and parts of SS.IGS.FaS Shallow gravel faunal communities and part of Shallow sand faunal communities

Back to top