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.

   Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Exposed, Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams
Substratum medium to fine sand
Zone
Depth Band Lower shore, Mid shore, Strandline, Upper shore
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 LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Eur <I>Eurydice pulchra</I> in littoral mobile 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'

Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot.

Description

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 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.

Situation

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.

Temporal variation

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.

Characterising Species

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
Scolelepis squamata 9 Common 32 41-60 %
Bathyporeia pilosa 21 Common 345 41-60 %
Haustorius arenarius 5 Frequent 37 41-60 %
Eurydice pulchra 60 Common 155 81-100 %

Similar biotopes

LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Sco
Occurs 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.Pon
Occurs 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.FS
Ol.FS often occurs in similar physical environments. It is distinguished from Amsco.Eur by the presence of oligochaetes and the absence of crustacean species.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
97.06 LGS.S.AEur
6.95 LSND.AE

Photos

LS.LSA.MOSA.AmSco.Eur Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand, Whitley links, Whitley Bay. Paul Brazier © JNCC
LS.LSA.MOSA.AmSco.Eur Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand, Whitley links, Whitley Bay. Paul Brazier © JNCC
LS.LSA.MOSA.AmSco.Eur Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand, Sea Palling, Norfolk. ANON © JNCC
LS.LSA.MOSA.AmSco.Eur Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand, Sea Palling, Norfolk. ANON © JNCC

Back to top