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Marine Habitat Classification


2 results for 'CR.MCR.SfR.Pol'

   CR.MCR.SfR.Pol  Polydora sp. tubes on moderately exposed sublittoral soft rock

Large patches of chalk and soft limestone are occasionally covered entirely by Polydora sp. tubes to the exclusion of almost all other species. This tends to occur in highly turbid conditions and spans the infralittoral and circalittoral in limestone areas such as the Great and Little Ormes (North Wales) and Gower (South Wales). It is even present on the lower shore in the Severn estuary. The boring form of the sponge Cliona celata often riddles the surface layer of the stone. Other sponges present include Halichondria panicea, Haliclona oculata and Hymeniacidon perlevis. Polydora sp. also frequently occurs in small patches as part of other biotopes (e.g. FluCoAs). Other species present include Alcyonium digitatum, Rolandia coralloides, the hydroids Halecium halecinum, Abietinaria abietina and Tubularia indivisa, the ascidians Clavelina lepadiformis, Botryllus schlosseri and Morchellium argus, the anemones Urticina felina, Metridium senile and Cylista elegans and the bryozoans Flustra foliacea and a crisiid turf. The starfish Asterias rubens, the crabs Inachus phalangium and Carcinus maenas, the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter, the barnacle Balanus crenatus and the brittlestar Ophiothrix fragilis may also be seen. Please note: this biotope may extend into the infralittoral and littoral zone in areas where water turbidity is sufficiently high.

   SS.SMu.SMuVS.PolCvol  Polydora ciliata and Corophium volutator in variable salinity infralittoral firm mud or clay

Variable salinity clay and firm mud characterised by a turf of the polychaete Polydora ciliata along with the amphipod Corophium volutator. Other important taxa include the polychaetes Pygospio elegans, Hediste diversicolor, Streblospio shrubsolii and the oligochaete Tubificoides benedii. P. ciliata also occurs in high densities elsewhere (see CR.MCR.SfR.Pol) and may be a specific feature of the Humber Estuary in these conditions. This biotope occurs only in very firm mud and clay and possibly submerged relict saltmarsh with a high detrital content. It is characterised, and can be separated from other biotopes, by a combination of the sediment characteristics and the very high density of Polydora ciliata. In some areas, such as the Humber estuary, cyclical behaviour with regard to its characteristic taxa has been reported with either P. ciliata or C. volutator increasing in dominance at the expense of the other (Gameson 1982). It is possible that changes in water quality or the sediment regime may be responsible for this.
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