Polychaetes and Angulus tenuis in Atlantic littoral fine sand

Description (English)

This biotope occurs on the mid and lower shore on moderately wave-exposed and sheltered coasts, with predominantly fine sand which remains damp throughout the tidal cycle. The sediment is often rippled, and an anoxic layer may occasionally occur below a depth of 10 cm, though it is often patchy. The infaunal community is dominated by the abundant bivalve Angulus tenuis together with a range of polychaetes. The presence of polychaetes may be seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment. Polychaetes that are characterising for this biotope include Nephtys cirrosa, Paraonis fulgens and Spio filicornis. Burrowing amphipods Bathyporeia spp. may occur in some samples of this biotope.
Situation: Where it occurs under moderately exposed conditions, units MA5-2332, MA5-2411 or MA5-2321 may be present higher up on the shore than this unit. Where it occurs under more sheltered conditions, it may occur below or alongside muddy sand biotopes such as units MA5-252 and MA5-254.
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.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA52412
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 Nephtys cirrosa
Invertebrates Spio filicornis
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Nephtys cirrosa Invertebrates
Spio filicornis Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A2.2312 Polychaetes and Angulus tenuis 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 A2.2312 Polychaetes and Angulus tenuis in littoral fine sand same
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