EUNIS habitat classification 2012 amended 2019 > A - Marine habitats > A5 - Sublittoral sediment > A5.5 - Sublittoral macrophyte-dominated sediment > A5.53 - Sublittoral seagrass beds > A5.533 - Zostera beds in full salinity infralittoral sediments > A5.5331 - Zostera marina/angustifolia beds on lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand

Zostera marina/angustifolia beds on lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand

English name: Zostera marina/angustifolia beds on lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A5.5331
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A5)

Description (English)

Expanses of clean or muddy fine sand and sandy mud in shallow water and on the lower shore (typically to about 5 m depth) can have dense stands of Zostera marina/angustifolia Note: the taxonomic status of Z. angustifolia is currently under consideration. In A5.5331 the community composition may be dominated by these Zostera species and therefore characterised by the associated biota. Other biota present can be closely related to that of areas of sediment not containing Zostera marina, for example, Laminaria saccharina, Chorda filum and infaunal species such as Ensis spp. and Echinocardium cordatum (e.g. Bamber 1993). From the available data it would appear that a number of sub-biotopes may be found within this biotope dependant on the nature of the substratum and it should be noted that sparse beds of Zostera marina may be more readily characterised by their infaunal community. For example, coarse marine sands with seagrass have associated communities similar to A5.133, A5.137 or A5.135 whilst muddy sands may have infaunal populations related to A5.241, A5.243 and A5.242. Muddy examples of this biotope may show similarities to A5.332, A5.343, A5.342 or A5.351. At present the data does not permit a detailed description of these sub-biotopes but it is likely that with further study the relationships between these assemblages will be clarified. Furthermore, whilst the Zostera biotope may be considered an epibiotic overlay of established sedimentary communities it is likely that the presence of Zostera will modify the underlying community to some extent. For example, beds of this biotope in the south-west of Britain may contain conspicuous and distinctive assemblages of Lusitanian fauna such as Laomedea angulata, Hippocampus spp. and Stauromedusae. In addition, it is known that seagrass beds play an important role in the trophic status of marine and estuarine waters, acting as an important conduit or sink for nutrients and consequently some examples of Zostera marina beds have markedly anoxic sediments associated with them.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Chorda filum
Invertebrates Echinocardium cordatum
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Invertebrates Laomedea angulata
Flowering Plants Zostera marina
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Chorda filum Algae
Echinocardium cordatum Invertebrates
Laminaria saccharina Algae
Laomedea angulata Invertebrates
Zostera marina Flowering Plants

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 SS.SMp.SSgr.Zmar <I>Zostera marina</I>/<I>angustifolia</I> beds on lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand source
CORINE Land Cover 5.2.3. Sea and ocean n/a
Barcelona Convention 199812 III.1.1.4. Association with Zostera noltii in euryhaline and eurythermal environment narrower
Barcelona Convention 199812 III.1.1.5. Association with Zostera marina in euryhaline and eurythermal environment narrower
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A5.5331 Zostera marina/angustifolia beds on lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A4.531 Zostera marina/angustifolia beds in sublittoral clean or muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A4.531 Zostera beds in lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A4.531 Zostera beds in lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A4.531 Zostera beds in lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A4.21 Eelgrass Zostera beds in sheltered infralittoral fine sand and mud same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) IMS.Sgr.Zmar Zostera marina/Zostera angustifolia beds in lower shore or infralittoral clean or muddy sand same
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) IMS.ZmarBv   same
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100