EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MB5 - Infralittoral sand > MB52 - Atlantic infralittoral sand > MB523 - Faunal communities of full salinity Atlantic infralittoral sand > MB5235 - Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis spp. in Atlantic infralittoral slightly muddy fine sand

Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis spp. in Atlantic infralittoral slightly muddy fine sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MB5235
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

Sheltered lower shore and shallow sublittoral sediments of sand or muddy fine sand in fully marine conditions, support populations of the urchin Echinocardium cordatum and the razor shell Ensis siliqua or Ensis ensis. Other notable taxa within this biotope include occasional Lanice conchilega, Pagurus and Liocarcinus spp. and Asterias rubens. This biotope has primarily been recorded by epifaunal dive, video or trawl surveys where the presence of relatively conspicuous taxa such as E. cordatum and Ensis spp. have been recorded as characteristic of the community. However, these species, particularly E. cordatum have a wide distribution and are not necessarily the best choice for a characteristic taxa (Thorson, 1957). Furthermore, detailed quantitative infaunal data for this biotope is often rather scarce, possibly as a result of survey method as remote grab sampling is likely to under-estimate deep-burrowing species such as Ensis sp. (Warwick & Davis 1977). Consequently, it may be better to treat this biotope as an epibiotic overlay which is likely to overlap a number of other biotopes such as units MB5-236, MB5-233 and MC5-214 with infaunal components of these biotopes occurring within MB5-235. The precise nature of this infaunal community will be related to the nature of the substratum, in particular the quantity of silt/clay present. Infaunal species may include the polychaetes Spiophanes bombyx, Magelona mirabilis, Nephtys cirrosa and Chaetozone setosa and the amphipod Bathyporeia spp. This biotope is currently broadly defined and needs further consideration as to whether it should be placed at biotope or biotope complex level. MB5-237 is another biotope based primarily on epibiotic data. It is likely that this biotope and MB5-235 form a wider epibiotic sand /muddy sand community with MB5-235 biased towards sandier areas and MB5-237 towards slightly muddier areas.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Asterias rubens
Invertebrates Chaetozone setosa
Invertebrates Echinocardium cordatum
Invertebrates Ensis ensis
Invertebrates Ensis siliqua
Invertebrates Lanice conchilega
Invertebrates Magelona mirabilis
Invertebrates Nephtys cirrosa
Invertebrates Spiophanes bombyx
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Asterias rubens Invertebrates
Chaetozone setosa Invertebrates
Echinocardium cordatum Invertebrates
Ensis ensis Invertebrates
Ensis siliqua Invertebrates
Lanice conchilega Invertebrates
Magelona mirabilis Invertebrates
Nephtys cirrosa Invertebrates
Spiophanes bombyx Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A5.241 Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis spp. in lower shore and shallow sublittoral slightly muddy 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 A5.241 Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis spp. in lower shore and shallow sublittoral slightly muddy fine sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A4.251 Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis spp. in shallow sublittoral slightly muddy fine sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A4.251 Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis sp. in lower shore or shallow sublittoral muddy fine sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A4.261 Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis sp. in lower shore or shallow sublittoral muddy fine sand same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) IMS.FaMS.EcorEns Echinocardium cordatum and Ensis sp. in lower shore or shallow sublittoral muddy fine sand same
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