Description of biotope or habitat type
Polychaetes, including Paraonis fulgens, in littoral fine sand
Physical habitat description
|Salinity||Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)|
|Wave exposure||Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered|
|Substratum||Medium and fine sand|
|Depth Band||Lower shore, Mid shore, 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.
This biotope occurs mainly on the mid and lower shore of moderately wave-exposed coasts, with medium and fine clean sand which remains damp throughout the tidal cycle and contains little organic matter. The sediment is often rippled and typically lacks an anoxic sub-surface layer. Polychaetes make up the greater part of the community, and are dominated by Paraonis fulgens, Capitella capitata, Pygospio elegans, Ophelia rathkei and Eteone longa. The presence of polychaetes may be seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment. Nemerteans may also be present. The amphipods Bathyporeia pilosa and B. sarsi are often present.
Po.Pful may be present higher up on the shore than Po.Aten, or lower down than the AmSco communities or Ol.FS. The strandline community Tal may be present on the same shore where driftlines of decomposing seaweed and other debris occur on the upper shore.
The infauna of this biotope may be reduced during winter, as increased storminess and wave action increases sediment mobility and may lead to some species migrating or being washed out of the sediment. The lugworm Arenicola marina may be present occasionally, usually as a temporary recruitment and is likely to be washed out during storms.
|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|
|Eteone longa||4||Abundant||50||41-60 %|
|Streptosyllis websteri||2||27||21-40 %|
|Nephtys cirrosa||1||8||21-40 %|
|Scoloplos armiger||2||Frequent||43||21-40 %|
|Paraonis fulgens||34||Abundant||240||81-100 %|
|Pygospio elegans||6||Common||288||41-60 %|
|Spio martinensis||2||102||41-60 %|
|Capitella capitata||7||Common||410||21-40 %|
|Arenicola marina||1||Frequent||39||41-60 %|
|Ophelia rathkei||5||Common||136||41-60 %|
|Bathyporeia pilosa||16||Common||1102||41-60 %|
|Bathyporeia sarsi||4||Common||125||21-40 %|
|Haustorius arenarius||1||Frequent||13||21-40 %|
Similar biotopes or habitat types
Classification history of this biotope or habitat type