Description of biotope or habitat type
Polychaetes and Angulus tenuis in littoral fine sand
Habitat (physical) description
|Salinity||Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)|
|Wave exposure||Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered|
|Depth Band||Lower shore, Mid 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 on the mid and lower shore on moderately wave-exposed and sheltered coasts, with predominantly fine sand which remains damp throughout the tidal cycle. The sediment is often rippled, and an anoxic layer may occasionally occur below a depth of 10 cm, though it is often patchy. The infaunal community is dominated by the abundant bivalve Angulus tenuis together with a range of polychaetes. The presence of polychaetes may be seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment. Polychaetes that are characterising for this biotope include Nephtys cirrosa, Paraonis fulgens and Spio filicornis. Burrowing amphipods Bathyporeia spp. may occur in some samples of this biotope.
Where it occurs under moderately exposed conditions, AmSco.Eur, Po.Pful or Ol.FS may be present higher up on the shore than Po.Aten. Where it occurs under more sheltered conditions, Po.Aten may occur below or alongside muddy sand biotopes such as CerPo and BatCare.
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.
|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|
|Nephtys cirrosa||5||Common||44||41-60 %|
|Paraonis fulgens||1||Abundant||40||1-20 %|
|Spio filicornis||3||Common||84||41-60 %|
|Bathyporeia elegans||2||Common||54||21-40 %|
|Bathyporeia pilosa||1||Common||96||21-40 %|
|Angulus tenuis||74||Abundant||434||81-100 %|