Description of biotope or habitat type
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Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand
Physical habitat description
|Salinity||Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)|
|Wave exposure||Exposed, Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered|
|Substratum||medium to fine sand|
|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.
Well-draining beaches of medium- to fine-grained mobile sand, often (but not always) well sorted. Occasionally, a small fraction of coarse sand may be present. The biotope generally occurs on exposed open coasts, but sometimes in estuarine conditions, supporting populations of the isopod Eurydice pulchra and burrowing amphipods which frequently include Bathyporeia pilosa and Haustorius arenarius. The degree of drainage appears to be a critical factor in determining the presence of polychaetes, with only Scolelepis (Scolelepis) squamata capable of tolerating the well-drained sediments of this biotope. This biotope has two facies: drying upper and mid shore sands, and highly mobile lower shore and shallow sublittoral sand bars. Where this biotope occurs in estuarine conditions, H. arenarius is often highly abundant.
AmSco.Eur may occur on the mid and upper shore together with AmSco.Sco, below Ol, or above Amsco.Pon and the Po communities. Under more exposed, open conditions, AmSco.Eur may be restricted to the lower part of the shore, with Ol, barren sand (BarSa) or barren shingle (BarSh) on the upper shore. Tal may occur where driftlines of wracks or other debris accumulate on the upper shore.
Winter storms may reduce the number of or temporarily remove macroinvertebrates from exposed sandy beaches, with the sediment becoming re-colonised during the summer months.
|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|
Similar biotopes or habitat types
LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.ScoOccurs under full salinity and more exposed conditions, in highly mobile sediment. The infauna is dominated by S. foliosa and S. squamata, amphipods are only present in a low proportion of samples.
LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.PonOccurs under fully marine, exposed conditions, tending to be present lower on the shore. The infauna is distinguished by the occasional presence of polychaete species such as Paraonis fulgens, in addition to Scolelepis spp., and most notably by common Pontocrates arenarius.
LS.LSa.MoSa.Ol.FSLLS.LSa.MoSa.Ol.FS often occurs in similar physical environments. It is distinguished from LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Eur by the presence of oligochaetes and the absence of crustacean species.
Classification history of this biotope or habitat type