EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MA5 - Littoral sand > MA52 - Atlantic littoral sand > MA524 - Polychaete/amphipod-dominated Atlantic littoral fine sand

Polychaete/amphipod-dominated Atlantic littoral fine sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA524
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

Shores of clean, medium to fine and very fine sand, with no coarse sand, gravel or 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 degree of drying between tides is limited, and the sediment usually remains damp throughout the tidal cycle. Typically, no anoxic layer is present. Fine sand shores support a range of species including amphipods and polychaetes. On the lower shore, and where sediments are stable, bivalves such as Angulus tenuis may be present in large numbers. An exceptionally rich fine sand community has been recorded from very sheltered reduced salinity shores in Poole Harbour. Species recorded include Anaitides maculata, Hediste diversicolor, Scoloplos armiger, Pygospio elegans, Tharyx killariensis, oligochaetes, Gammarus locusta, Hydrobia ulvae, Cerastoderma edule and Mya truncata.
Situation: Fine sand communities may be present throughout the intertidal zone on moderately exposed beaches, or they may be present on the lower parts of the shore with mobile sand communities present along the upper shore. A strandline of talitrid amphipods (MA5-211) typically develops at the top of the shore where decaying seaweed accumulates.
Temporal variation: Fine sand shores may show 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 Cerastoderma edule
Invertebrates Gammarus locusta
Invertebrates Hydrobia ulvae
Invertebrates Mya truncata
Invertebrates Pygospio elegans
Invertebrates Scoloplos armiger
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Cerastoderma edule Invertebrates
Gammarus locusta Invertebrates
Hydrobia ulvae Invertebrates
Mya truncata Invertebrates
Pygospio elegans Invertebrates
Scoloplos armiger Invertebrates

Other classifications

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.23 Polychaete/amphipod-dominated fine sand shores same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.24 Sand shores wider
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.244 Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.244 Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.24 Sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.21 Sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.214 Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A2.12 Clean sandy shores with communities dominated by amphipods or polychaetes narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A2.12 Clean sandy shores with communities dominated by amphipods or polychaetes narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 16.11 Part of Unvegetated sand beaches narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 16.11 Part of Unvegetated sand beaches narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 16.11   narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 16.11   narrower
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 16.11   narrower
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 16.11   narrower
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.S Sand shores narrower
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.S.AP Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores narrower
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) LGS.Snd   narrower
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