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Marine Habitat Classification


5 results for 'SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg'

   SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg.Fun  Seapens, including Funiculina quadrangularis, and burrowing megafauna in undisturbed circalittoral fine mud

Deep muds, especially in sea lochs, support forests of the nationally scarce Funiculina quadrangularis, in addition to populations of the seapens Virgularia mirabilis and Pennatula phosphorea. The sediment is usually extensively burrowed by crustaceans, the most common of which is Nephrops norvegicus, but Calocaris macandreae and Callianassa subterranea may also be present (the latter is likely to be under-recorded by grab sampling because it is deep burrowing). The burrowing anemone Cerianthus lloydii is present in low numbers in this biotope and the rare anemone Pachycerianthus multiplicatus may also be found occasionally. Amphiura spp. are also often present in high densities. This biotope is closely related to the biotope SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg.

   SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg  Seapens and burrowing megafauna in circalittoral fine mud

Plains of fine mud at depths greater than about 15 m may be heavily bioturbated by burrowing megafauna; burrows and mounds may form a prominent feature of the sediment surface with conspicuous populations of seapens, typically Virgularia mirabilis and Pennatula phosphorea. The burrowing crustacea present typically include Nephrops norvegicus, which is frequently recorded from surface observations although grab sampling may fail to sample this species. Indeed, some forms of sampling may also fail to indicate seapens as characterising species. This biotope also seems to occur in deep offshore waters in the North Sea and the Irish Sea. The burrowing anemone Cerianthus lloydii and the ubiquitous epibenthic scavengers Asterias rubens, Pagurus bernhardus and Liocarcinus depurator are present in low numbers in this biotope whilst the brittlestars Ophiura albida and Ophiura ophiura are sometimes present, but are much more common in slightly coarser sediments. Low numbers of the anemone Pachycerianthus multiplicatus may also be found, and this species, which is scarce in the UK, appears to be restricted to this habitat (Plaza & Sanderson 1997). The infauna may contain significant populations of the polychaetes Pholoe spp., Glycera spp., Nephtys spp., spionids, Pectinaria belgica and Terebellides stroemii, the bivalves Nucula sulcata, Varicorbula gibba and Thyasira flexuosa, and the echinoderm Brissopsis lyrifera. The biotope may include a range of the component fauna, potentially including burrowing megafauna and seapens, burrowing megafauna without seapens or seapens without burrowing megafauna depending on local environmental conditions. This biotope is closely related to the biotope SS.SMu.CFiMu.MegMax and SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg.Fun and may be have infaunal communities similar to the biotopes SS.SMu.CFiMu.BlyrAchi or SS.SMu.IFiMu.PhiVir, depending on environmental factors.

   SS.SMu.CFiMu.MegMax  Burrowing megafauna Maxmuelleria lankesteri in circalittoral mud

In circalittoral stable mud distinctive populations of megafauna may be found with a range of component fauna. This biotope may include the decapod crustaceans Nephrops norvegicus, Munida rugosa, Calocaris macandreae and Callianassa subterranea, the seapens Pennatula phosphorea and Virgularia mirabilis (although in reduced numbers than in SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg) and the echiuran Maxmuelleria lankesteri sometimes present in large mounds. Whilst this biotope is primarily identified from epifauna, the infaunal species present may include Nephtys hystricis, Chaetozone setosa, Amphiura chiajei and Abra alba. This biotope is closely related to the biotope SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg and may have infaunal communities similar to the biotopes SS.SMu.CSaMu.AfilKurAnit or SS.SMu.CSaMu.ThyEten, depending on environmental factors and/or the sampling gear used to describe the record.

   SS.SMu.CFiMu.BlyrAchi  Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral mud

Mud in deep offshore, or shallower stable nearshore, waters can be characterised by the urchin Brissopsis lyrifera and the brittle star Amphiura chiajei. Where intense benthic dredge fishing activity occurs, populations of the indicator species, Brissopsis lyrifera may be depressed, although broken tests may remain (E.I.S. Rees pers. comm. 1997; M. Costello pers. comm. 1997). Low numbers of the seapen Virgularia mirabilis may be found in many examples of this biotope. In addition, in certain areas of the UK such as the northern Irish Sea, this community may also contain Nephrops norvegicus and can consequently be the focus for fishing activity (Mackie, Oliver & Rees 1995). Infaunal species in this community are similar to those found in SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg and include the polychaetes Nephtys hystricis, Pectinaria belgica, Glycera spp. and Lagis koreni and the bivalves Myrtea spinifera and Nucula sulcata. This community is the 'Boreal Offshore Mud Association' and 'Brissopsis - Chiajei' communities described by other workers (Petersen 1918; Jones 1950).

   SS.SMu.CSaMu.VirOphPmax  Virgularia mirabilis and Ophiura spp. with Pecten maximus on circalittoral sandy or shelly mud

Circalittoral fine sandy mud may contain Virgularia mirabilis and Ophiura spp. A variety of species may occur, and species composition at a particular site may relate, to some extent, to the proportions of the major sediment size fractions. Several species are common to most sites including Virgularia mirabilis which is present in moderate numbers, Ophiura albida and Ophiura ophiura which are often quite common, and Pecten maximus which is usually only present in low numbers. Virgularia mirabilis is usually accompanied by occasional Cerianthus lloydii, Liocarcinus depurator and Pagurus bernhardus. Amphiura chiajei and Amphiura filiformis may occur in some examples of this biotope. Polychaetes and bivalves are generally the main components of the infauna, although the nemerteans, Edwardsia claparedii, Phoronis muelleri and Labidoplax buski may also be widespread. Of the polychaetes Goniada maculata, Nephtys incisa, Prionospio cirrifera, Chaetozone setosa, Notomastus latericeus and Owenia fusiformis are often the most widespread species whilst Myrtea spinifera, Lucinoma borealis, Kurtiella bidentata, Abra alba and Varicorbula gibba are typical bivalves in this biotope. This biotope is primarily identified on the basis of its epifauna and may be an epibiotic overlay over other closely related biotopes such as SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg, SS.SMu.CSaMu.AfilKurAnit and SS.SMu.CSaMu.AfilEten.
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