EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MD6 - Offshore circalittoral mud > MD63 - Baltic offshore circalittoral mud > MD633 - Baltic offshore circalittoral mud characterized by epibenthic Crustaceans > MD6331 - Baltic offshore circalittoral mud characterized by Copepods (Harpacticoida)

Baltic offshore circalittoral mud characterized by Copepods (Harpacticoida)

Description (English)

This is a Baltic Sea benthic habitat in the aphotic zone, comprising areas of soft sediment, predominantly mud, below the halocline, typically at depths below 70-100m. The strong permanent halocline and seasonal thermocline in summer limits vertical mixing of the water column leading to the formation of oxygen-depleted zones in the deep areas of the central Baltic. The environmental conditions of the deep zone of the Baltic are not uniform but vary widely in terms of salinity (14-21 ppt) and oxygenation (3-80% saturation). During periods of stagnation, this separation by the halocline gives rise to an oxygen deficit and periodically to complete oxygen depletion and formation of hydrogen sulphide (H2S). In places there is a continuously oxygen poor zone which is virtually devoid of macrofauna and has an extremely impoverished meiofauna generally consisting of a few thousand nematodes per square meter only.
Characteristic species:
Where there is sufficient oxygen and elevated salinity

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MD6331

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Not available

Other classifications


Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A5.37 Deep circalittoral mud same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A4.74 Animal communities of deep circalittoral muddy bottoms same
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