EUNIS habitat classification 2012 amended 2019 > A - Marine habitats > A2 - Littoral sediment > A2.2 - Littoral sand and muddy sand > A2.22 - Barren or amphipod-dominated mobile sand shores > A2.223 - Amphipods and Scolelepis spp. in littoral medium-fine sand

Amphipods and Scolelepis spp. in littoral medium-fine sand

English name: Amphipods and Scolelepis spp. in littoral medium-fine sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A2.223
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A2.2)

Description (English)

Mobile clean sandy beaches on exposed and moderately exposed shores, with sediment grain sizes ranging from medium to fine, often with a fraction of coarser sediment. The sediment contains little or no organic matter, and usually no anoxic layer is present at all. It tends to be well-drained, retaining little water at low tide, though the sediment of the A2.2233 sub-unit may remain damp throughout the tidal cycle. These beaches usually occur under fully marine conditions, though the A2.2232 sub-unit may occur under moderately exposed lower estuarine conditions. The mobility of the sediment leads to a species-poor community, dominated by polychaetes, isopods and burrowing amphipods. Scolelepis spp. can tolerate well-drained conditions, and are often present in well-draining, coarser sand. Burrowing amphipods that often occur in this biotope include Bathyporeia spp., Pontocrates arenarius, and Haustorius arenarius. The isopod Eurydice pulchra is also often present. On semi-exposed beaches with a moderate tide range where there is a marked high-shore berm, there can be a marked seepage at the foot of the berm that probably carries the products of the organic matter derived from strand line breakdown. Here in a narrow zone, exceptionally high populations of Bathyporeia pilosa, sometimes above 10000 per square metre, may occur. The zone may be narrower than the strandline and could easily be missed on surveys were only a few levels are sampled. Three sub-biotopes are described for this biotope, based principally on differences in infaunal species composition.
Situation: Situated mainly on the mid and lower shore, sometimes upper shore, of exposed to moderately exposed beaches. Under more exposed conditions, it may occur below A2.221, or A2.111. Under more sheltered conditions, it may occur above the communities of unit A2.231. Unit A2.211 may be present on the same shores as A2.223, where driftlines of decomposing seaweed and other debris occur on the upper shore.
Temporal variation: Winter storms may reduce the number of or temporarily remove macroinvertebrates from exposed sandy beaches, with the sediment becoming re-colonised during the summer months.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Bathyporeia pilosa
Invertebrates Eurydice pulchra
Invertebrates Haustorius arenarius
Invertebrates Pontocrates arenarius
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Bathyporeia pilosa Invertebrates
Eurydice pulchra Invertebrates
Haustorius arenarius Invertebrates
Pontocrates arenarius Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LS.LSa.MoSa.AmSco Amphipods and <I>Scolelepis</I> spp. in littoral medium-fine sand source
CORINE Land Cover 4.2.3. Intertidal flats n/a
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.223 Amphipods and Scolelepis spp. in littoral medium-fine sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.244 Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.214 Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.S.AP Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores same
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