EUNIS habitat classification 2012 amended 2019 > A - Marine habitats > A2 - Littoral sediment > A2.2 - Littoral sand and muddy sand > A2.24 - Polychaete/bivalve-dominated muddy sand shores > A2.242 - Cerastoderma edule and polychaetes in littoral muddy sand

Cerastoderma edule and polychaetes in littoral muddy sand

English name: Cerastoderma edule and polychaetes in littoral muddy sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A2.242
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A2.2)

Description (English)

Extensive clean fine sand or muddy sand shores with abundant cockles Cerastoderma edule. The community consists of the polychaetes Eteone longa, Scoloplos armiger, Pygospio elegans, Spio filicornis and Capitella capitata, the crustaceans Bathyporeia sarsi, Bodotria arenosa arenosa and Crangon crangon, the spire shell Hydrobia ulvae, as well as the cockle C. edule and the baltic tellin Macoma balthica. This biotope carries commercially viable stocks of C. edule, and it is therefore possible to find areas of this habitat where the infauna may have been changed through recent cockle dredging. Cockle dredging can result in a reduced bivalve abundance and reduced densities of some polychaete species, including P. elegans (Moore, 1991). At the outer edges of large flats, there may be a zone between the cockle beds and more exposed sands, where there are fewer cockles and B. sarsi is the commoner species.
Situation: The community is found mainly on the mid and lower shore where the sediment is water-saturated most of the time. Where it occurs in muddy sand, this unit has broad transition areas with units A2.241 and the A2.31, and where it occurs on clean sand shores, it may have broad transition areas with A2.7212. Higher on the shore, adjacent to this biotope, BatCare is found, with fewer polychaete and bivalve species due to the drier sediment found on the upper shore.
Temporal variation: A layer of mud with dense spionid polychaetes may build up on cockle beds in sheltered areas, creating a cohesive muddy layer 10-15 cm thick overlying the whole area. This may break up leaving a series of pits and patches with miniature cliffs, giving it an appearance similar to a stony shore when seen from a distance. It should be noted that where it occurs, Hydrobia ulvae tends to move a lot and may be highly variable in abundance.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Bathyporeia sarsi
Invertebrates Capitella capitata
Invertebrates Cerastoderma edule
Invertebrates Crangon crangon
Invertebrates Eteone longa
Invertebrates Hydrobia ulvae
Invertebrates Macoma balthica
Invertebrates Pygospio elegans
Invertebrates Scoloplos armiger
Invertebrates Spio filicornis
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Bathyporeia sarsi Invertebrates
Capitella capitata Invertebrates
Cerastoderma edule Invertebrates
Crangon crangon Invertebrates
Eteone longa Invertebrates
Hydrobia ulvae Invertebrates
Macoma balthica Invertebrates
Pygospio elegans Invertebrates
Scoloplos armiger Invertebrates
Spio filicornis Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LS.LSa.MuSa.CerPo <I>Cerastoderma edule</I> and polychaetes in littoral muddy 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 A2.242 Cerastoderma edule and polychaetes in littoral muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.252 Cerastoderma edule and polychaetes in littoral muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.252 Polychaetes and Cerastoderma edule in fine sand and muddy sand shores same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.222 Polychaetes and Cerastoderma edule in fine sand and muddy sand shores same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LMS.MS.PCer Polychaetes and Cerastoderma edule in fine sand and muddy sand shores same
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