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Marine Habitat Classification


4 results for 'LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco'

   LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco  Amphipods and Scolelepis spp. in littoral medium-fine sand

Mobile clean sandy beaches on exposed and moderately exposed shores, with sediment grain sizes ranging from medium to fine, often with a fraction of coarser sediment. The sediment contains little or no organic matter, and usually no anoxic layer is present at all. It tends to be well-drained, retaining little water at low tide, though the sediment of the AmSco.Pon sub-biotope may remain damp throughout the tidal cycle. These beaches usually occur under fully marine conditions, though the AmSco.Eur sub-biotope may occur under moderately exposed lower estuarine conditions. The mobility of the sediment leads to a species-poor community, dominated by polychaetes, isopods and burrowing amphipods. Scolelepis spp. can tolerate well-drained conditions, and are often present in well-draining, coarser sand. Burrowing amphipods that often occur in this biotope include Bathyporeia spp., Pontocrates arenarius, and Haustorius arenarius. The isopod Eurydice pulchra is also often present. On semi-exposed beaches with a moderate tide range where there is a marked high-shore berm, there can be a marked seepage at the foot of the berm that probably carries the products of the organic matter derived from strand line breakdown. Here in a narrow zone, exceptionally high populations of Bathyporeia pilosa, sometimes above 10000 per square metre, may occur. The zone may be narrower than the strandline and could easily be missed on surveys were only a few levels are sampled. Three sub-biotopes are described for this biotope, based principally on differences in infaunal species composition.

   LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Pon  Pontocrates arenarius in littoral mobile sand

Mainly on the mid and lower shore on wave-exposed or moderately wave-exposed coasts of medium and fine sand, sometimes with a fraction of coarse 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. The infauna is dominated by burrowing amphipods, most notably Pontocrates arenarius, as well as Bathyporeia pelagica, Haustorius arenarius and the isopod Eurydice pulchra. The polychaete fauna is poor, dominated by Scolelepis (Scolelepis) squamata, which tolerates the exposed and mobile sediment conditions. The presence of polychaetes may be seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment.

   LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Sco  Scolelepis spp. in littoral mobile sand

Exposed and moderately exposed shores of fully marine mobile clean sand, with particle sizes ranging from coarse to very fine. The sediment is not always well sorted, and may contain a subsurface layer of gravel or shell debris. Usually no anoxic layer is present. The mobility of the sediment leads to a species-poor community, dominated by the polychaetes Scolelepis (Scolelepis) squamata and S. foliosa. The amphipod Bathyporeia pilosa may be present. Further species that may be present in this sub-biotope include the amphipods B. pelagica and Haustorius arenarius, and the isopod Eurydice pulchra. The lugworm Arenicola marina may also occur.

   LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco.Eur  Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand

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 (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.
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