EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MA3 - Littoral coarse sediment

Littoral coarse sediment

Description (English)

Littoral coarse sediments include shores of mobile pebbles, cobbles and gravel, sometimes with varying amounts of coarse sand. The sediment is highly mobile and subject to high degrees of drying between tides. As a result, few species are able to survive in this environment. Beaches of mobile cobbles and pebbles tend to be devoid of macroinfauna, while gravelly shores may support limited numbers of crustaceans, such as Pectenogammarus planicrurus.
Situation: Littoral coarse sediments are found along relatively exposed open shores, where wave action prevents finer sediments from settling. Coarse sediments may also be present on the upper parts of shores where there are more stable, sandy biotopes on the lower and mid shore.
Temporal variation: The sediment particle size structure may vary seasonally, with relatively finer sediments able to settle during calmer conditions in summer. Where the sediment grain size is very large (at the interface between sediment and boulder shores), cobbles may be mobile during exposed winter conditions, but stable enough during summer months to support limited juvenile rocky shore epifauna (e.g. juvenile barnacles).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA3

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Pectenogammarus planicrurus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Pectenogammarus planicrurus Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A2.1 Littoral coarse sediment same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A2 Littoral sediment narrower
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.1 Littoral coarse sediment same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2 Littoral sediment same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2 Littoral sediment same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.1 Littoral coarse sediment same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2 Littoral sediments same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.1 Littoral gravels and coarse sands same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.1 Littoral gravels and coarse sands same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2 Littoral sediments same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A2.1 Littoral gravels and coarse sands same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A2 Littoral sediments same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A2.1 Littoral shingle, gravel and sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A2 Littoral (inter-tidal) sediments same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 16.1 Sand beaches wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 11.28 Pebbly shore littoral communities not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 17.1 Unvegetated shingle beaches wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 11.28 Pebbly shore littoral communities not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 11.27 Soft sediment littoral communities not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 16.1 Sand beaches wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 17.1 Unvegetated shingle beaches wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 11.28   not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 16.1   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 11.27   not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 17.1   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 17.1   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 11.28   not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 16.1   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 11.27   not defined
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 16.1   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 17.1   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 16.1   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 17.1   wider
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LS Littoral sediments same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS Littoral gravels and sands same
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) LGS   same
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