Pontocrates arenarius in Atlantic littoral mobile sand
Mainly on the mid and lower shore on wave-exposed or moderately wave-exposed coasts of medium and fine sand, sometimes with a fraction of coarse sand, which remains damp throughout the tidal cycle and contains little organic matter. The sediment is often rippled and typically lacks an anoxic sub-surface layer. The infauna is dominated by burrowing amphipods, most notably Pontocrates arenarius, as well as Bathyporeia pelagica, Haustorius arenarius and the isopod Eurydice pulchra. The polychaete fauna is poor, dominated by Scolelepis squamata, which tolerates the exposed and mobile sediment conditions. The presence of polychaetes may be seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment.
Situation: This biotope may be present on the lower shore, where units MA5-231, MA5-2332, or MA5-2331 are present higher up. Where this unit occurs on the mid shore in relatively sheltered conditions, unit MA5-241 may be present on the lower shore. Unit MA5-211 may be present where driftlines of fucoids and other debris occur on the upper shore.
Temporal variation: This biotope may change to unit MA5-2332, which is very similar in character, if P. arenarius decreases in abundance. 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
|EUNIS habitat type||code MA52333|
|Relation to||Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)|
Relation to other habitat types mentioned in legal instruments
Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)Not available
Species mentioned in habitat description
|Species scientific name||English common name||Species group|
|Classification||Code||Habitat type name||Relationship type|
|EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012)||A2.2233||Pontocrates arenarius in littoral mobile sand||same|
|Classification||Code||Habitat type name||Relationship type||Comment|
|EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410||A2.2233||Pontocrates arenarius in littoral mobile sand||same|
|EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308||A2.2442||Pontocrates arenarius in littoral mobile sand||same|
|EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202||A2.2442||Burrowing amphipods Pontocrates spp. and Bathyporeia spp. in lower shore clean sand||same|
|EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910||A2.2142||Burrowing amphipods Pontocrates spp. and Bathyporeia spp. in lower shore clean sand||same|
|MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland)||LGS.S.AP.Pon||Burrowing amphipods Pontocrates spp. and Bathyporeia spp. in lower shore clean sand||same|