EUNIS habitat classification 2012 > A - Marine habitats > A2 - Littoral sediment > A2.2 - Littoral sand and muddy sand

Littoral sand and muddy sand

English name: Littoral sand and muddy sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A2.2
Bern Convention Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)
Relation to Annex I habitat types (EU Habitats Directive)

Description (English)

Shores comprising clean sands (coarse, medium or fine-grained) and muddy sands with up to 25% silt and clay fraction. Shells and stones may occasionally be present on the surface. The sand may be duned or rippled as a result of wave action or tidal currents. Littoral sands exhibit varying degrees of drying at low tide depending on the steepness of the shore, the sediment grade and the height on the shore. The more mobile sand shores are relatively impoverished (A2.22), with more species-rich communities of amphipods, polychaetes and, on the lower shore, bivalves developing with increasing stability in finer sand habitats (A2.23). Muddy sands (A2.24), the most stable within this habitat complex, contain the highest proportion of bivalves.
Situation: A strandline of talitrid amphipods (A2.211) typically develops at the top of the shore where decaying seaweed accumulates. Fully marine sandy shores occur along stretches of open coast, whilst muddy sands are often present in more sheltered lower estuarine conditions and may be subject to some freshwater influence.
Temporal variation: Littoral sandy shore environments can change markedly over seasonal cycles, with sediment being eroded during winter storms and accreted during calmer summer months. The particle size structure of the sediment may change from finer to coarser during winter months, as finer sediment gets resuspended in seasonal exposed conditions. This may affect the sediment infauna, with some species only present in summer when sediments are more stable. More sheltered muddy sand shores are likely to be more stable throughout the year, but may have a seasonal cover of green seaweeds during the summer period, particularly in nutrient enriched areas or where there is freshwater input.

Source:
EUNIS habitat classification
Interpretation Manual of the habitats targeted by Resolution No. 4

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Not available

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 200112 11.27 Soft sediment littoral communities wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 200112 14.1 Mud flats and sand flats wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 200112 16.1 Sand beaches overlap
CORINE Land Cover 4.2.3. Intertidal flats n/a
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LS.LSa Littoral sand same
Barcelona Convention 199812 II.2. (MEDIOLITTORAL) SANDS wider
Barcelona Convention 199812 II.1. (MEDIOLITTORAL) MUDS, SANDY MUDS AND SANDS wider
Ramsar Wetland Types G Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats wider
Phase 1 habitat classification (UK) 1993 H11 Intertidal: mud/sand wider
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.2 Littoral sand and muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.2 Littoral sand and muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.2 Littoral sands and muddy sands same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.2 Littoral sands and muddy sands same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A2.2 Littoral sands and muddy sands same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A2.2 Littoral muddy sands same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 14.1 Part of Mud flats and sand flats wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 11.27 Part of Soft sediment littoral communities wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 14 Part of Mud flats and sand flats wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 11.27 Part of Soft sediment littoral communities wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 11.27   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 14   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 14   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 11.27   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 14   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 14   wider
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LMS Littoral muddy sands same
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) LMS   same
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