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Marine Habitat Classification


2 results for 'LS.LSa.MuSa.Lan'

   LS.LSa.MuSa.Lan  Lanice conchilega in littoral sand

This biotope usually occurs on flats of medium fine sand and muddy sand, most often on the lower shore but sometimes also on waterlogged mid shores. The sand may contain a proportion of shell fragments or gravel. Lan can also occur on the lower part of predominantly rocky or boulder shores, where patches of sand or muddy sand occur between scattered boulders, cobbles and pebbles. Conditions may be tide-swept, and the sediment may be mobile, but the biotope usually occurs in areas sheltered from strong wave action. The sediment supports dense populations of the sand mason Lanice conchilega. Other polychaetes present are tolerant of sand scour or mobility of the sediment surface layers and include the polychaetes Phyllodoce mucosa, Eumida sanguinea, Nephtys hombergii, Scoloplos armiger, Aricidea (Aricidea) minuta, Tharyx spp. and Pygospio elegans. The mud shrimp Corophium arenarium and the cockle Cerastoderma edule may be abundant. The baltic tellin Macoma balthica may be present. On boulder shores, and where pebbles and cobbles are mixed in with lower shore tide-swept sand with dense L. conchilega between the cobbles, the infaunal component is rarely sampled. The infaunal community under these circumstances, provided that the cobbles are not packed very close together, is likely to be similar to that in areas without the coarse material.

   SS.SCS.ICS.SLan  Dense Lanice conchilega and other polychaetes in tide-swept infralittoral sand and mixed gravelly sand

Dense beds of Lanice conchilega occur in coarse to medium fine gravelly sand in the shallow sublittoral, where there are strong tidal streams or wave action. Several other species of polychaete also occur as infauna e.g. Spiophanes bombyx, Scoloplos armiger, Chaetozone setosa and Magelona mirabilis. Lanice beds are found in a wide range of habitats including muddier mixed sediment. The dense Lanice biotope (LS.LSa.MuSa.Lan) on certain lower shores may be a littoral extension of the current biotope. The presence of L. conchilega in high numbersmay, over time, stabilise the sediment to the extent where a more diverse community may develop. Possibly, as a result of this, there is a high level of variation with regard the infauna found in SS.SCS.ICS.SLan. It is likely that a number of sub-biotopes may subsequently be identified for this biotope. Offshore from the Wash and the North Norfolk coast Lanice beds are often found intermixed with Sabellaria spinulosa beds in muddier mixed sediment, particularly in the channels between the shallow sandbanks, which are prevalent in this area. It is possible that the presence of Lanice has stabilised the habitat sufficiently to allow the deposition of finer material, which has subsequently assisted the development of S. spinulosa. It may be more accurate to define SS.SCS.ICS.SLan as an epibiotic biotope which overlays a variety of infaunal biotopes (e.g. SS.SSa.IFiSa.NcirBat in finer sands and SS.SSa.CMuSa.AalbNuc or SS.SSa.IMuSa.FfabMag in slightly muddier areas).
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