Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLNEA - Atlantic > NEAA2.41 Hediste diversicolor dominated variable salinity Atlantic littoral gravelly sandy mud

Hediste diversicolor dominated variable salinity Atlantic littoral gravelly sandy mud

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code NEAA2.41
Threat status
Europe Data Deficient
EU Data Deficient
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

Sheltered muddy gravel habitats occur principally in estuaries, rias and sea lochs, in areas protected from wave action and strong tidal streams. The infaunal community is dominated by abundant ragworms Hediste diversicolor with bivalves, polychaetes and crustaceans species also present depending on the characateristics of the sediment (mud, sand and gravel component) and position on the shore.

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 over time.

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

This habitat has a widespread distribution (EOO >50,000 km2) and although not reported to occur in many locations (AOO <50) it is unlikely that the available data cover its full distribution. This habitat has therefore been assessed as Data Deficient both at the EU 28 and EU 28+ levels because of the lack of information on its extent and on any trends in quantity and quality.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient -

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Biological resource use other than agriculture & forestry
    • Leisure fishing
    • Bait digging / Collection
  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters by industrial plants
    • Nutrient enrichment (N, P, organic matter)
    • Toxic chemical discharge from material dumped at sea
  • Invasive, other problematic species and genes
    • Invasive non-native species
  • Natural System modifications
    • Human induced changes in hydraulic conditions
    • Removal of sediments (mud...)
    • Estuarine and coastal dredging
    • Extraction of sea-floor and subsoil minerals (e.g. sand, gravel, rock, oil, gas)
    • Modification of hydrographic functioning, general
    • Dykes, embankments, artificial beaches, general

Habitat restoration potential

Unknown

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

This habitat occurs in some Marine Protected Areas and may therefore have measures specifically directed at its conservation. Integrated coastal zone management which includes spatial planning measures limiting land claim and other activities that alter the tidal regime would also be beneficial to this habitat. Other recommended management measures include the regulation of activities which damage or disturb seabed communities, of coastal development and of construction of hard coastal defences. Water quality improvement programmes and management of urban and industrial waste to reduce the risk of organic enrichment and toxic contamination that may degrade this habitat are also important measures. Lastly, control of invasive species should also be considered.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to marine habitats
    • Other marine-related measures
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Other marine-related measures
  • Measures related to urban areas, industry, energy and transport
    • Urban and industrial waste management

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)
Celtic Seas Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
Greater North Sea
Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast
Kattegat

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 119,151 >19 Unknown Based on a limited data set. AOO is known to be an underestimate.
EU28+ >19 Unknown Based on a limited data set. AOO is known to be an underestimate.
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 Corophium volutator
Invertebrates Heterochaeta costata
Invertebrates Hydrobia ulvae
Invertebrates Macoma balthica
Invertebrates Manayunkia aestuarina
Invertebrates Pygospio elegans
Invertebrates Scrobicularia plana
Invertebrates Streblospio shrubsolii
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Corophium volutator Invertebrates
Heterochaeta costata Invertebrates
Hydrobia ulvae Invertebrates
Macoma balthica Invertebrates
Manayunkia aestuarina Invertebrates
Pygospio elegans Invertebrates
Scrobicularia plana Invertebrates
Streblospio shrubsolii Invertebrates

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
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