Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLBAL - Baltic > BAL33 Sparse or no macrofauna communities on Baltic infralittoral sand

Sparse or no macrofauna communities on Baltic infralittoral sand

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code BAL33
Threat status
Europe Least Concern
EU Least Concern
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

This Baltic Sea benthic habitat occurs in the photic zone with at least 90% coverage of sand according to the HELCOM HUB classification. The substrate may be mobile and any macro or microvegetation, if present, is sparse. Macrofauna, eipfauna and infauna in this habitat are also sparse and it supports a low species diversity.  

Indicators of quality:

Both biotic and abiotic indicators have been used to describe marine habitat quality. These include: the presence of characteristic species as well as those which are sensitive to the pressures the habitat may face; water quality parameters; levels of exposure to particular pressure, and more integrated indices which describe habitat structure and function, such as trophic index, or successional stages of development in habitats that have a natural cycle of change overtime. There are no commonly agreed indicators of quality for this habitat, although particular parameters may have been set in certain situations e.g. protected features within Natura 2000 sites, where reference values have been determined and applied on a location-specific basis.

Characteristic species
For full habitat description, please download the habitat factsheet.

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The presence of this habitat type in the Baltic Sea is well known and it occurs in all the sub-basins. The quantity and quality of this habitat is considered to have been stable over the last 50 years and no change is expected in the near future. The overall assessment for this EUNIS level 4 habitat has been based on the HELCOM (2013) assessments for the associated HELCOM HUB biotopes. Draft assessments were derived using a weighted approach whereby the HELCOM assessment outcomes were assigned a score. This was averaged across the relevant biotopes. The outcomes were reviewed by Baltic experts to reach a final conclusion. HELCOM (2013) assessed this habitat as Least Concern (A1). No additional information is available, therefore the current expert opinion is an assessment of Least Concern for both the EU 28 and EU 28+.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters (limnic, terrestrial, marine & brackish)
    • Nutrient enrichment (N, P, organic matter)
  • Natural System modifications
    • Human induced changes in hydraulic conditions
    • Siltation rate changes, dumping, depositing of dredged deposits
    • Other siltation rate changes
  • Climate change
    • Changes in abiotic conditions
    • Sea-level changes
    • Changes in biotic conditions
    • Habitat shifting and alteration

Habitat restoration potential

Unknown

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Stable Stable
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Stable Stable
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

No conservation and management measures have been identified specifically for this habitat.

List of conservation and management needs

  • No measures
    • No measures needed for the conservation of the habitat/species

Distribution

For each habitat a distribution map was produced from a wide variety of sources indicating known and potential occurrences of the habitat in 10x10 km grids within Europe. Occurrences in grid cells were given in two classes: actual distribution from relatively reliable sources (surveys, expert knowledge), and potential distribution based on models or less reliable indicators. Please download the fact sheet to see the map.

Geographic occurrence and trends

Seas Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Baltic Proper Present Unknown Stable Stable
Belt Sea
Gulf of Bothnia
Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Riga
The Sound

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 >50,000 Unknown Unknown This habitat is present in all the Baltic sub-basins.
EU28+ Unknown Unknown This habitat is present in all the Baltic sub-basins
AOO = the area occupied by a habitat measured in number of 10x10 km grid cells.
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).

Characteristic species

The full list of characteristic species and genus are available above from the Summary. The species available in the EUNIS database are shown here.
Invertebrates Bathyporeia pilosa
Invertebrates Crangon crangon
Invertebrates Marenzelleria viridis
Invertebrates Pygospio elegans
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Bathyporeia pilosa Invertebrates
Crangon crangon Invertebrates
Marenzelleria viridis Invertebrates
Pygospio elegans Invertebrates

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
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