Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLMED - Mediterranean > MEDA5.5x Communities of Mediterranean infralittoral coastal detritic bottoms

Communities of Mediterranean infralittoral coastal detritic bottoms

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code MEDA5.5x
Threat status
Europe Near Threatened
EU Near Threatened
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

This habitat is usually associated with the lower infralittoral zone. The nature of the substratum varies widely and depends largely on the typology of the nearby coast and of the nearby infralittoral formations. This implies that the substrata can sometimes be formed by gravels and sands originating from predominant local rocks, sometimes shell debris from various molluscs and echinoderms, sometimes debris from branched bryozoans or debris of dead and more or less corroded Melobesiae spp. The interstices between these various components are partially filled by a greater or lesser proportion of sand and mud.

Indicators of quality:

Standard biotic and abiotic indicators have been used to describe marine habitat quality, but the presence and abundance of indicated characteristic species can also be used as an indicator of habitat quality.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

This habitat is directly subject to various anthropogenic impacts resulting from urban, industrial, agricultural, aquaculture and other coastal activities. Fishing in general, and the use of bottom towed fishing gears in particular which is widespread and of high intenstity in the Mediterranean, particularly in the Adriatic Sea, pose ephemeral or permanent threats to this habitat, depending on the relative vulnerability of species present. Many studies also show that combined impacts of urbanization, fisheries, aquaculture and sedimentation led to a shift in associated assemblages.
Declines over the last 50 years cannot be quanitified but expert opinion is that there is likely to have been a fairly substantial reduction in quality. This habitat has therefore been assessed as Near Threatened under criteria C/D for the EU 28 and EU 28+.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened C/D1
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Near Threatened C/D1

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Use of biocides, hormones and chemicals
    • Fertilisation
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
    • Industrial or commercial areas
    • Discharges
  • Biological resource use other than agriculture & forestry
    • Marine and Freshwater Aquaculture
    • Fishing and harvesting aquatic resources
  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters (limnic, terrestrial, marine & brackish)
    • Marine water pollution
    • Soil pollution and solid waste (excluding discharges)

Habitat restoration potential

The capacity of this habitat to recover once severely damaged is unknown.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Basic knowledge on this habitat, the associated assemblages/species biology (distribution, abundance, habitat preferences, life-cycles), its distribution in the Mediterranean and any trends are needed. Spatial planning in general, and strategic planning of particular human activities are needed for the conservation of this habitat when there are competing demands. Designation of Protected Areas is also recommended. In areas where the habitat is affected, it is recommended to reduce anthropogenic waste, particularly domestic and industrial wastewater that is still loaded with fine matter, pollutants and organic matter.
Fisheries legislation for this whole zone exists but precise management measures aimed at this particular habitat are not in place. Direct engagement of stakeholders in the planning of the management process, analysis of social and economic costs and benefits of different management options, will be essential to the successful implementation of conservation actions.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Restoring/Improving water quality
    • Restoring coastal areas
  • Measures related to marine habitats
    • Restoring marine habitats
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Legal protection of habitats and species
  • Measures related to hunting, taking and fishing and species management
    • Regulation/Management of fishery in marine and brackish systems
  • 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)
Adriatic Sea Present Unknown Decreasing Unknown
Aegian-Levantine Sea
Ionian Sea and the Central Mediterranean Sea
Western Mediterranean Sea

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 Mediterranean sub-basins.
EU28+ unknown Unknown This habitat is present in all the Mediterranean 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 Anseropoda placenta
Invertebrates Astropecten irregularis
Invertebrates Microcosmus vulgaris
Invertebrates Molgula oculata
Invertebrates Ophiura ophiura
Invertebrates Paguristes eremita
Invertebrates Polycarpa pomaria
Invertebrates Suberites domuncula
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Anseropoda placenta Invertebrates
Astropecten irregularis Invertebrates
Microcosmus vulgaris Invertebrates
Molgula oculata Invertebrates
Ophiura ophiura Invertebrates
Paguristes eremita Invertebrates
Polycarpa pomaria Invertebrates
Suberites domuncula Invertebrates

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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