EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MA5 - Littoral sand > MA52 - Atlantic littoral sand > MA523 - Barren or amphipod-dominated Atlantic littoral mobile sand

Barren or amphipod-dominated Atlantic littoral mobile sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA523
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

Shores consisting of clean mobile sands (coarse, medium and some fine-grained), with little very fine sand, and no mud present. 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. The sands are non-cohesive, with low water retention, and thus subject to drying out between tides, especially on the upper shore and where the shore profile is steep. Most of these shores support a limited range of species, ranging from barren, highly mobile sands to more stable clean sands supporting communities of isopods, amphipods and a limited range of polychaetes. Species which can characterise mobile sand communities include Scolelepis squamata, Pontocrates arenarius, Bathyporeia pelagica, B. pilosa, Haustorius arenarius and Eurydice pulchra.
Situation: Mobile sand shores are typically situated along open stretches of coastline, with a relatively high degree of wave exposure. Bands of gravel and shingle may be present on the upper shore of exposed beaches. Where the wave exposure is less, and the shore profile more shallow, mobile sand communities may also be present on the upper part of the shore, with more stable fine sand communities present lower down. A strandline of talitrid amphipods (MA5-211) typically develops at the top of the shore where decaying seaweed accumulates.
Temporal variation: Mobile sand shores may show significant seasonal changes, with sediment accretion during calm summer periods and beach erosion during more stormy winter months. There may be a change in sediment particle size structure, with finer sediment grains washed out during winter months, leaving behind coarser sediments.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Eurydice pulchra
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Eurydice pulchra Invertebrates

Other classifications

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.22 Barren or amphipod-dominated mobile sand shores same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.24 Sand shores wider
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.242 Barren coarse sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.121 Oligochaetes in reduced or low salinity gravel or coarse sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.243 Burrowing amphipods and Eurydice pulchra in well-drained clean sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.243 Burrowing amphipods and Eurydice pulchra in well-drained clean sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.242 Barren coarse sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.121 Oligochaetes in reduced or low salinity gravel or coarse sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.213 Burrowing amphipods and Eurydice pulchra in well-drained clean sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.212 Barren coarse sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.121 Oligochaetes in reduced or low salinity gravel or coarse sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A2.12 Clean sandy shores with communities dominated by amphipods or polychaetes same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A2.12 Clean sandy shores with communities dominated by amphipods or polychaetes same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 16.11 Part of Unvegetated sand beaches not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 16.11 Part of Unvegetated sand beaches not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 16.11   not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 16.11   not defined
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 16.11   not defined
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 16.11   not defined
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.S.AEur Burrowing amphipods and Eurydice pulchra in well-drained clean sand shores narrower
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.S.BarSnd Barren coarse sand shores narrower
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.Est.Ol Oligochaetes in reduced or low salinity gravel or coarse sand shores narrower
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.Snd   narrower
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