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Marine Habitat Classification


4 results for 'SS.SSa.SSaVS'

   SS.SSa.SSaVS.MoSaVS  Infralittoral mobile sand in variable salinity (estuaries)

Very mobile sand in areas of strong tidal currents and variable salinity. No stable community is able to develop within this extremely mobile and abrasive habitat. The fauna encountered in this habitat consists of epifaunal crustaceans or relatively low numbers of robust species, such as the isopod Eurydice pulchra or Mesopodopsis slabberi. The polychaete Capitella capitata may occur frequently in some areas. Other taxa such as the polychaetes Eteone spp. and Arenicola marina, the mysid Neomysis integer and the amphipods Bathyporeia spp. and Haustorius arenarius may also be washed in from adjacent communities. This biotope is found in tidal channels of estuaries and areas where water movement keeps silt and mud in suspension, and excludes even the more robust infauna. If oligochaetes, polychaetes and bivalves are present in any numbers within this habitat type then care must be taken to avoid the inclusion of juvenile or spat recruitment counts which may mask the presence of this biotope. This is particularly relevant as sampling usually occurs at slack water periods when settlement takes place.

   SS.SSa.SSaVS.NintGam  Neomysis integer and Gammarus spp. in fluctuating low salinity infralittoral mobile sand

Upper estuary mobile fine muddy sands with very low fluctuating salinity characterised by the mysid shrimp Neomysis integer (see Arndt 1991) and amphipods of the genus Gammarus spp. This habitat has a rather sparse infauna and species such as N. integer will most likely be found on the sediment surface or just above it whilst Gammarus may be under loose weed, stones or other detritus on the sediment surface. The harsh physicochemical regime imposed by such environmental conditions in the upper estuary leads to a relatively impoverished community but high densities of the mobile, salinity-tolerant crustaceans can occur. The biotope is found in the transitional zone between freshwater and brackish environments, relying on the decreased freshwater input during the summer for penetration of the brackish species up-stream. As such this biotope may also contain elements of freshwater communities.

   SS.SSa.SSaVS.NcirAm  Nephtys cirrosa and amphipods in variable salinity infralittoral mobile sand

Mobile sand in variable salinity conditions where tidal currents create an unstable, shifting habitat. Characteristic species include the polychaetes Nephtys cirrosa and Scoloplos armiger along with amphipods of the genus Bathyporeia and Haustorius arenarius. The bivalve Macoma balthica may occur in more stable examples of this biotope, although not in the abundances found in the SS.SMu.ISaMu.NhomMac biotope. The biotope contains relatively few species, each typically in low to moderate abundance. It is found in tidal channels with moderate tidal streams. Care should be taken in identification of this biotope due to the presence juveniles and species washed in during slack water.

   SS.SSa.SSaVS  Sublittoral sand in variable salinity (estuaries)

Clean sands that occur in the upper reaches of marine inlets, especially estuaries, where water movement is moderately strong, allowing the sedimentation of sand but not the finer silt fraction. The habitat typically lacks a significant seaweed component and is characterised by brackish-water tolerant fauna, particularly amphipods, polychaetes and mysid shrimps.
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