Barren Atlantic littoral coarse sand

Description (English)

Freely-draining sandy beaches, particularly on the upper and mid shore, which lack a macrofaunal community due to their continual mobility. Trial excavations are unlikely to reveal any macrofauna in these typically steep beaches on exposed coasts. Oligochaetes, probably mainly enchytraeids, and the isopod Eurydice pulchra may be found in extremely low abundances, but if present in any quantity should be classed as units MA6-2273 or MA5-2332. Burrowing amphipods (Bathyporeia spp.) may be present on very rare occasions. Occasionally, other species may be left behind in low abundance by the ebbing tide.
Situation: This unit may occur on the mid and/or lower shore below MA3-211 in exposed conditions. In moderately exposed conditions, and where MA5-231 occurs on the upper shore, a range of relatively more species-rich clean sand communities may occur on the mid and lower shore. These include MA5-233, MA5-232 and MA5-241, depending on the degree of wave exposure and sediment mobility. Tal may occur on the same shore as MA5-231, where driftlines of algae and other debris accumulate on the upper shore.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA5231
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

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

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A2.221 Barren littoral coarse sand same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types


Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.221 Barren littoral coarse sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.242 Barren coarse sand shores same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.212 Barren coarse sand shores same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.S.BarSnd Barren coarse sand shores same
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