EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MA5 - Littoral sand > MA52 - Atlantic littoral sand > MA524 - Polychaete/amphipod-dominated Atlantic littoral fine sand > MA5241 - Polychaetes in Atlantic littoral fine sand > MA52411 - Polychaetes, including Paraonis fulgens, in Atlantic littoral fine sand

Polychaetes, including Paraonis fulgens, in Atlantic littoral fine sand

Description (English)

This biotope occurs mainly on the mid and lower shore of moderately wave-exposed coasts, with medium and fine clean 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. Polychaetes make up the greater part of the community, and are dominated by Paraonis fulgens, Capitella capitata, Pygospio elegans, Ophelia rathkei and Eteone longa. The presence of polychaetes may be seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment. Nemerteans may also be present. The amphipods Bathyporeia pilosa and B. sarsi are often present.
Situation: This unit may be present higher up on the shore than unit MA5-2412, or lower down than the MA5-233 communities or MA5-2321. The strandline community MA5-211 may be present on the same shore where driftlines of decomposing seaweed and other debris occur on the upper shore.
Temporal variation: The infauna of this biotope may be reduced during winter, as increased storminess and wave action increases sediment mobility and may lead to some species migrating or being washed out of the sediment. The lugworm Arenicola marina may be present occasionally, usually as a temporary recruitment and is likely to be washed out during storms.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA52411
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 Arenicola marina
Invertebrates Bathyporeia pilosa
Invertebrates Capitella capitata
Invertebrates Eteone longa
Invertebrates Ophelia rathkei
Invertebrates Pygospio elegans
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Arenicola marina Invertebrates
Bathyporeia pilosa Invertebrates
Capitella capitata Invertebrates
Eteone longa Invertebrates
Ophelia rathkei Invertebrates
Pygospio elegans Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A2.2311 Polychaetes, including Paraonis fulgens, in littoral fine sand same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.2311 Polychaetes, including Paraonis fulgens, in littoral fine sand same
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