EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MC5 - Circalittoral sand > MC52 - Atlantic circalittoral sand > MC521 - Faunal communities of Atlantic circalittoral sand

Faunal communities of Atlantic circalittoral sand

Description (English)

Sand communities either on the open coast or in tide-swept channels of marine inlets in depths of over 15-20 m.
Clean fine sands with less than 5% silt/clay in deeper water is characterised by a wide range of echinoderms (in some areas including the pea urchin Echinocyamus pusillus), polychaetes and bivalves. This habitat is generally more stable than shallower, infralittoral sands and consequently supports a more diverse community.
Circalittoral non-cohesive muddy sands with the silt content of the substratum typically ranging from 5% to 20% supports animal-dominated communities characterised by a wide variety of polychaetes, bivalves such as Abra alba and Nucula nitidosa, and echinoderms such as Amphiura spp and Ophiura spp., and Astropecten irregularis. These circalittoral habitats tend to be more stable than their infralittoral counterparts and as such support a richer infaunal community.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MC521
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 Astropecten irregularis
Invertebrates Echinocyamus pusillus
Invertebrates Nucula nitidosa
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Astropecten irregularis Invertebrates
Echinocyamus pusillus Invertebrates
Nucula nitidosa Invertebrates

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A5.26 Circalittoral muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A5.25 Circalittoral fine sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A4.27 Circalittoral muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A4.27 Animal communities of circalittoral muddy sands same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A4.28 Animal communities of circalittoral muddy sands same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A4.71 Animal communities of circalittoral muddy sands same
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