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Marine Habitat Classification


4 results for 'SS.SMp.Ang.NVC S4'

   SS.SMp.Ang.NVC.S4  Phragmites australis swamp and reed beds

Permanently low salinity muds or peaty muddy sands with some gravel which supports Phragmites australis reed beds. These reed beds are often found in enclosed water bodies influenced by freshwater inflow and may have notable quantities of decaying reed material. The substratum may be mixtures of mud, peaty mud, sand and some gravel. Filamentous green algae and charophytes such as Lamprothamnium papulosum and Chara aspera may also be found in association with this biotope as well as a the freshwater quillwort Myriophyllum spp. The infaunal component of this biotope is poorly known. This biotope is further described as NVC type S4 (Rodwell 1995).

   LR.HLR.FR.RPid  Ceramium sp. and piddocks on eulittoral fossilised peat

Outcrops of fossilised peat in the eulittoral are soft enough to allow a variety of piddocks such as Barnea candida and Petricolaria pholadiformis to bore into them. The surface of the peat can be characterised by a dense algal mat, predominantly the red seaweed Ceramium spp. and with the green seaweeds Ulva lactuca and Ulva intestinalis. Damp areas in the algal mat are covered by aggregations of the polychaetes Lanice conchilega and Polydora sp. The crabs Carcinus maenas and Cancer pagurus occur in crevices in the peat. Small pools on the peat may contain hydroids, such as Obelia longissima and Kirchenpaueria pinnata, the brown alga Dictyota dichotoma and the crustacean Crangon crangon. Description derived largely from sites in north Norfolk and this community could possibly be found on other "soft" substrata. Further records of this community are required in order to validate the description.

   SS.SMu.OMu.ForThy  Foraminiferans and Thyasira sp. in deep circalittoral fine mud

In deep water and soft muds of Boreal and Arctic areas, a community dominated by foraminiferans and the bivalve Thyasira sp. (e.g. T. croulinensis and T. pygmaea) may occur (Thorson 1957; K?nitzer et al. 1992). Foraminiferans such as Saccammina, Psammosphaera, Haplophragmoides, Crithionina and Astorhiza are important components of this community with dead tests numbering thousands per m2 (see Stephen 1923; McIntyre 1961) and sometimes visible from benthic photography (Mackie, Oliver & Rees 1995). It is likely that a community dominated by Astorhiza in fine sands in the Irish Sea may be another distinct biotope (E.I.S. Rees pers. comm. 2002). Polychaetes, e.g. Paraonis gracilis, Myriochele heeri, Spiophanes kroyeri, Tharyx sp., Lumbrineris tetraura, are also important components of this biotope. These communities appear to have no equivalent on the continental plateau further south (Glemarec 1973) but are known from the edge of the Celtic Deep in the Irish Sea (Mackie, Oliver & Rees 1995). The benthos in these offshore areas has been shown to be principally Foraminifera and similar, rich communities may exist in Scottish sea lochs (McIntyre 1961). Communities from yet deeper (northern) waters at the extremes of the North Sea may be reminiscent, although dissimilar to SS.SMu.OMu.ForThy (see Pearson et al. 1996) reflecting a higher proportion of silt/clay. A fully Arctic version of this biotope has also been described (Thorson 1934, 1957) although it should be noted that Jones (1950) considered this Boreal foraminiferan community to be part of a 'Boreal Deep Mud Association'.

   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.
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