EUNIS habitat classification 2012 amended 2019 > A - Marine habitats > A5 - Sublittoral sediment > A5.5 - Sublittoral macrophyte-dominated sediment > A5.51 - Maerl beds > A5.511 - Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand

Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand

English name: Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A5.511
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A5)

Description (English)

Maerl beds characterised by Phymatolithon calcareum in gravels and sands. Associated epiphytes may include red algae such as Dictyota dichotoma, Halarachnion ligulatum, Callophyllis laciniata, Cryptopleura ramosa, Brongniartella byssoides and Plocamium cartilagineum. Algal species may be anchored to the maerl or to dead bivalve shells amongst the maerl. Polychaetes, such as Chaetopterus variopedatus, Lanice conchilega, Kefersteinia cirrata, Mediomastus fragilis, Chone duneri, Parametaphoxus fultoni and Grania may be present. Gastropods such as Gibbula cineraria, Gibbula magus, Calyptraea chinensis Dikoleps pusilla and Onoba aculeus may also be present. Liocarcinus depurator and Liocarcinus corrugatus are often present, although they may be under-recorded; it would seem likely that robust infaunal bivalves such as Circomphalus casina, Mya truncata, Dosinia exoleta and other venerid bivalves are more widespread than available data currently suggests. It seems likely that stable wave-sheltered maerl beds with low currents may be separable from A5.511; having a generally thinner layer of maerl overlying a sandy /muddy substratum with a diverse cover of epiphytes (e.g. Bosence 1976; Blunden et al. 1977; 1981; Davies & Hall-Spencer 1996) but insufficient data currently exists on a national scale. Wave and current-exposed maerl beds, where thicker depths of maerl accumulate, frequently occur as waves and ridge / furrows arrangements (see Bosence 1976; Blunden et al. 1977; 1981; Irvine & Chamberlain 1994; Hall-Spencer 1995). At some sites where A5.511occurs, there may be significant patches of maerl gravel containing the rare burrowing anemone Halcampoides elongatus; this may be a separate biotope, but insufficient data exists at present. Northern maerl beds in the UK do not appear to contain L. corallioides but in south-west England and Ireland L. corallioides may occur to some extent in A5.511 as well as A5.513, where it dominates.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Brongniartella byssoides
Algae Callophyllis laciniata
Algae Cryptopleura ramosa
Algae Phymatolithon calcareum
Algae Plocamium cartilagineum
Invertebrates Calyptraea chinensis
Invertebrates Chaetopterus variopedatus
Invertebrates Chone duneri
Invertebrates Dikoleps pusilla
Invertebrates Dosinia exoleta
Invertebrates Gibbula cineraria
Invertebrates Gibbula magus
Invertebrates Kefersteinia cirrata
Invertebrates Lanice conchilega
Invertebrates Liocarcinus corrugatus
Invertebrates Liocarcinus depurator
Invertebrates Mediomastus fragilis
Invertebrates Mya truncata
Invertebrates Onoba aculeus
Invertebrates Parametaphoxus fultoni
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Brongniartella byssoides Algae
Callophyllis laciniata Algae
Cryptopleura ramosa Algae
Phymatolithon calcareum Algae
Plocamium cartilagineum Algae
Calyptraea chinensis Invertebrates
Chaetopterus variopedatus Invertebrates
Chone duneri Invertebrates
Dikoleps pusilla Invertebrates
Dosinia exoleta Invertebrates
Gibbula cineraria Invertebrates
Gibbula magus Invertebrates
Kefersteinia cirrata Invertebrates
Lanice conchilega Invertebrates
Liocarcinus corrugatus Invertebrates
Liocarcinus depurator Invertebrates
Mediomastus fragilis Invertebrates
Mya truncata Invertebrates
Onoba aculeus Invertebrates
Parametaphoxus fultoni Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 SS.SMp.Mrl.Pcal <I>Phymatolithon calcareum</I> maerl beds in infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand source
CORINE Land Cover 5.2.3. Sea and ocean n/a
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A5.511 Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A4.611 Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A4.611 Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in shallow-water clean gravel or coarse sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A4.111 Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in shallow-water clean gravel or coarse sand same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) IGS.Mrl.Phy Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand same
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