Hediste diversicolor and oligochaetes in Atlantic littoral mud

Description (English)

A species-poor community found in mud or slightly sandy mud in low salinity conditions, typically at the head of estuaries. The infauna is dominated by the ragworm Hediste diversicolor which is typically superabundant. Oligochaetes, including tubificids and Heterochaeta costata, can be abundant, as well as spionids. The peppery furrow shell Scrobicularia plana may be present in low abundances. The mud is often very soft and fluid, with a 'wet' surface appearance, or it may be compacted and form steep banks in the upper parts of macro-tidal estuaries and along saltmarsh creeks.
Situation: There are three oligochaete dominated upper estuarine mud biotopes. MA6-228 is the most extreme upper estuarine biotope, occurring at the head of estuaries where there is a very strong freshwater influence. Further towards the mid estuary, this biotope may occur at the top of the shore, with MA6-2273 further down. Unit MA6-226 occurs furthest towards the mid estuary, or on the lower shore with MA6-2273 and MA6-228 higher up.
Temporal variation: Enteromorpha spp. or Ulva lactuca may form mats on the surface of the sediment during the summer months, particularly in areas of freshwater influence and/or where there is nutrient enrichment.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA62273
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

Algae Ulva lactuca
Invertebrates Heterochaeta costata
Invertebrates Scrobicularia plana
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Ulva lactuca Algae
Heterochaeta costata Invertebrates
Scrobicularia plana Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A2.3223 Hediste diversicolor and oligochaetes in littoral mud same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.3223 Hediste diversicolor and oligochaetes in littoral mud same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.372 Hediste diversicolor and Streblospio shrubsolii in sandy mud or soft mud shores overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.373 Hediste diversicolor and oligochaetes in low salinity mud shores overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.372 Hediste diversicolor and Streblospio shrubsolii in sandy mud or soft mud shores overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.373 Hediste diversicolor and oligochaetes in low salinity mud shores overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.323 Hediste diversicolor and oligochaetes in low salinity mud shores overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A2.322 Hediste diversicolor and Streblospio shrubsolii in sandy mud or soft mud shores overlap
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LMU.Mu.HedOl Hediste diversicolor and oligochaetes in low salinity mud shores overlap
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LMU.Mu.HedStr Hediste diversicolor and Streblospio shrubsolii in sandy mud or soft mud shores overlap
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