EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MB5 - Infralittoral sand > MB52 - Atlantic infralittoral sand > MB523 - Faunal communities of full salinity Atlantic infralittoral sand > MB5238 - Spisula subtruncata and Nephtys hombergii in Atlantic infralittoral muddy sand

Spisula subtruncata and Nephtys hombergii in Atlantic infralittoral muddy sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MB5238
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

In shallow non-cohesive muddy sands, in fully marine conditions, a community characterised by the bivalve Spisula subtruncata and the polychaete Nephtys hombergii may occur. The sediments in which this community is found may vary with regard silt content but they generally have less than 20% silt/clay and in some areas may contain a degree of shell debris. This biotope falls somewhere between MB5-236 and MC5-214 with regard sediment type (i.e. somewhat muddier than MB5-236 and less muddy than MC5-214) and may have species in common with both. As a result, other important species in this community include Abra alba, Fabulina fabula spp. and Mysella bidentata spp. In addition, Diastylis rathkei/typical, Philine aperta (in muddier sediments), Ampelisca spp., Ophiura albida, Phaxas pellucidus and occasionally Bathyporeia spp, may also be important, although this is not clear from the data available. In areas of slightly coarser, less muddy sediment S. solida or S. elliptica may appear occasionally in this biotope. Abundances of Spisula subtruncata in this biotope are often very high and distinguish it from other closely related biotopes. Extensive areas of this community to the north east of the Dogger Bank were recorded in the 1950s, but these seem to have declined since then (Kroncke 1990). More information is required with regard the status of this biotope.
Temporal variation: In some areas this biotope may be a temporal variant or sub-biotope of MB5-236 and MC5-214 rather than an established biotope in itself. For example MB5-238 has been recorded in Red Wharf Bay and Conwy Bay where it appears to be short term variant of other more established biotopes (e.g. MC5-214) and appears to have only intermittent occurrence in single age cohort patches possibly due to predation in some areas (e.g. Red Wharf Bay) by the common Scoter Melanitta nigra (E.I.S. Rees pers. comm. 2002).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Birds Melanitta nigra
Invertebrates Abra alba
Invertebrates Diastylis rathkei
Invertebrates Mysella bidentata
Invertebrates Ophiura albida
Invertebrates Phaxas pellucidus
Invertebrates Philine aperta
Invertebrates Spisula subtruncata
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Melanitta nigra Common Scoter Birds
Abra alba Invertebrates
Diastylis rathkei Invertebrates
Mysella bidentata Invertebrates
Ophiura albida Invertebrates
Phaxas pellucidus Invertebrates
Philine aperta Invertebrates
Spisula subtruncata Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A5.244 Spisula subtruncata and Nephtys hombergii in shallow muddy sand same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A5.244 Spisula subtruncata and Nephtys hombergii in shallow muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A4.112 Spisula elliptica and venerid bivalves in infralittoral clean sand or shell gravel wider
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A4.112 Spisula elliptica and venerid bivalves in infralittoral clean sand or shell gravel overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A4.122 Spisula elliptica and venerid bivalves in infralittoral clean sand or shell gravel overlap
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) IGS.FaG.Sell Spisula elliptica and venerid bivalves in infralittoral clean sand or shell gravel overlap
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