EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MB6 - Infralittoral mud > MB62 - Atlantic infralittoral mud > MB624 - Faunal communities on full salinity Atlantic infralittoral mud > MB6246 - Capitella capitata in enriched Atlantic infralittoral muddy sediments

Capitella capitata in enriched Atlantic infralittoral muddy sediments

Description (English)

The polychaete Capitella capitata (agg.) a widely-occurring, opportunist species complex that is particularly associated with organically enriched and polluted sediments (Warren 1977; Pearson & Rosenberg 1978) where it may be superabundant. In very polluted/disturbed areas only Capitella, Nematodes and occasional Malacoceros fuliginosus may be found whilst in slightly less enriched areas and estuaries species such as Tubificoides, Cirriformia tentaculata, Pygospio elegans and Polydora ciliata may also be found. In some areas e.g. the Tees estuary, high numbers of the polychaete Ophryotrocha may also be present. MB6-246 may become established as a result of anthropogenic activities such as fish farming and sewerage effluent but may also occur with natural enrichment as a result of, for example, coastal bird roosts. This biotope may also occur to some extent in the intertidal and in estuaries.
Situation: This biotope typically occurs in marine inlets, embayments or estuaries where organic enrichment allows C. capitata to out compete other taxa, although the species may also occur in enriched muddy coastal sediments and also offshore where there is a high organic input from adjacent oil drilling platforms (units MD6-216 & MD6-2161).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MB6246
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 Capitella capitata
Invertebrates Cirriformia tentaculata
Invertebrates Malacoceros fuliginosus
Invertebrates Polydora ciliata
Invertebrates Pygospio elegans
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Capitella capitata Invertebrates
Cirriformia tentaculata Invertebrates
Malacoceros fuliginosus Invertebrates
Polydora ciliata Invertebrates
Pygospio elegans Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A5.336 Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A5.336 Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A4.254 Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A4.254 Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A4.264 Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) IMS.FaMS.Cap Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments same
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