Description of biotope or habitat type
Nephtys cirrosa-dominated 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 to fine sand|
|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 mainly on the mid and lower shore on moderately wave-exposed and sheltered coasts, with medium to fine clean sand which remains damp throughout the tidal cycle and contains little organic matter. The sediment is not usually well sorted and may contain a fraction of coarse sand. It is often rippled and typically lacks an anoxic sub-surface layer. The polychaete infauna is dominated by Nephtys cirrosa, Magelona mirabilis, Spio martinensis, Spiophanes bombyx and Paraonis fulgens. The presence of polychaetes may be seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment. Nemertean worms may be present. The amphipods Pontocrates spp. and Bathyporeia spp., as well as Cumopsis goodsiri and the shrimp Crangon crangon are typically present. The bivalve Angulus tenuis is scarce or absent.
Po.Ncir may be present higher up on the shore than Po.Aten, or lower down than AmSco.Eur or Ol.FS.
The infaunal community of this biotope may change seasonally, as increased storminess during winter months may reduce sediment stability and the ability of some species to survive. Some species, such as the shrimp C. crangon avoid these conditions by seasonal migration to deeper water (Moore, 1991).
|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||30||Common||79||81-100 %|
|Paraonis fulgens||2||Common||16||21-40 %|
|Spio martinensis||9||Common||279||41-60 %|
|Spiophanes bombyx||9||Frequent||55||61-80 %|
|Magelona mirabilis||11||Frequent||206||61-80 %|
|Pontocrates altamarinus||1||16||21-40 %|
|Pontocrates arenarius||4||36||61-80 %|
|Bathyporeia elegans||2||Common||31||21-40 %|
|Bathyporeia pelagica||2||48||21-40 %|
|Bathyporeia sarsi||1||13||21-40 %|
|Cumopsis goodsiri||9||Frequent||76||41-60 %|
|Crangon crangon||2||17||41-60 %|
|Angulus tenuis||1||6||21-40 %|
Similar biotopes or habitat types
Classification history of this biotope or habitat type