Eurydice pulchra in Atlantic littoral mobile sand

Description (English)

Well-draining beaches of medium- to fine-grained mobile sand, often (but not always) well sorted. Occasionally, a small fraction of coarse sand may be present. The biotope generally occurs on exposed open coasts, but sometimes in estuarine conditions, supporting populations of the isopod Eurydice pulchra and burrowing amphipods which frequently include Bathyporeia pilosa and Haustorius arenarius. The degree of drainage appears to be a critical factor in determining the presence of polychaetes, with only Scolelepis squamata capable of tolerating the well-drained sediments of this biotope. This biotope has two facies: drying upper and mid shore sands, and highly mobile lower shore and shallow sublittoral sand bars. Where this biotope occurs in estuarine conditions, H. arenarius is often highly abundant.
Situation:This unit may occur on the mid and upper shore together with unit MA5-2331, below MA6-2273, or above MA5-2333 and the MA5-241 communities. Under more exposed, open conditions, this unit may be restricted to the lower part of the shore, with MA6-2273, barren sand (MA5-231) or barren shingle (MA3-211) on the upper shore. Unit MA5-211 may occur where driftlines of wracks or other debris accumulate on the upper shore.
Temporal variation: Winter storms may reduce the number of or temporarily remove macroinvertebrates from exposed sandy beaches, with the sediment becoming re-colonised during the summer months.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA52332
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 Bathyporeia pilosa
Invertebrates Eurydice pulchra
Invertebrates Haustorius arenarius
Invertebrates Scolelepis squamata
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Bathyporeia pilosa Invertebrates
Eurydice pulchra Invertebrates
Haustorius arenarius Invertebrates
Scolelepis squamata Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A2.2232 Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.2232 Eurydice pulchra in littoral mobile sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.243 Burrowing amphipods and Eurydice pulchra in well-drained clean sand shores same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.213 Burrowing amphipods and Eurydice pulchra in well-drained clean sand shores same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.S.AEur Burrowing amphipods and Eurydice pulchra in well-drained clean sand shores same
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