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Marine Habitat Classification


2 results for 'SS.SBR.SMus.ModHAs'

   SS.SBR.SMus.ModHAs  Modiolus modiolus beds with fine hydroids and large solitary ascidians on very sheltered circalittoral mixed substrata

Beds or scattered clumps of Modiolus modiolus in generally sheltered conditions with only slight tidal movement. Typically occurs in sea lochs and the Shetland voes. Brittlestars Ophiothrix fragilis and Ophiocomina nigra, as well as Ophiopholis aculeata are often frequent, sometimes forming a dense bed as described in SS.SMx.CMx.OphMx. The queen scallop Aequipecten opercularis is often present in moderate abundances. Large solitary ascidians (Ascidiella aspersa, Corella parallelogramma, Dendrodoa grossularia) and fine hydroids (Kirchenpaueria pinnata) are present attached to the mussel shells. Decapods such as hermit crabs (Pagurus bernhardus) and spider crabs (Hyas araneus) are typically present. Coralline algal crusts may be found on the mussel shells, with some red seaweeds in shallower water such as Phycodrys rubens. Little information on the infaunal component is given here although it is likely that it is very rich and may highlight more subtle differences in the Modiolus biotopes.

   SS.SMx.CMx.ClloModHo  Sparse Modiolus modiolus, dense Cerianthus lloydii and burrowing holothurians on sheltered circalittoral stones and mixed sediment

Pebbles and cobbles on mud or muddy gravel in sea lochs with frequent Cerianthus lloydii and occasional Modiolus modiolus. Large burrowing holothurians may include Psolus phantapus, Panningia hyndmani, Thyonidium commune, Thyone fusus and Leptopentacta elongate. Many of these species only extend their tentacles above the sediment surface seasonally and are likely to be under recorded by epifaunal surveys. Other more conspicuous characterising taxa include Pagurus bernhardus, Asterias rubens, and Buccinum undatum. This biotope is well developed in the Clyde sea lochs, although many examples are rather species-poor. Some examples in south-west Scottish sea lochs have greater quantities of boulders and cobbles and therefore have a richer associated biota (compared with other sheltered Modiolus bed biotopes such as SS.SBR.SMus.ModHAs). Examples in Shetland are somewhat different in having the cucumber Cucumaria frondosa amongst sparse Modiolus beds and a slightly different balance in abundance of other species; for example the brittlestar Ophiopholis aculeata is more abundant in these far northern examples in the voes and narrows.
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