Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Mid and lower shore clean sandy shores on wave-exposed or moderately wave-exposed coasts support a community of burrowing amphipods and polychaetes, sometimes with bivalves such as Angulus tenuis. The medium to fine-grained sand remains damp throughout the tidal cycle. The community consists of burrowing amphipods (Pontocrates altamarinus, P. arenarius, Bathyporeia elegans, B. guilliamsoniana, B. pelagica, B. pilosa and B. sarsi), the isopod Eurydice pulchra, the cumacean Cumopsis goodsiri and polychaetes (including Nephtys cirrosa, Scolelepis squamata, Paraonis fulgens and Arenicola marina). The presence of polychaetes is seen as coloured burrows running down from the surface of the sediment. The sediment is often rippled and typically lacks an anoxic black sub-surface layer. This community differs from the community of burrowing amphipods (LGS.AEur) in its greater variety of polychaete species and the presence of bivalves. The two sub-types are LGS.AP.P and LGS.AP.Pon depending upon the proportion of amphipods and polychaetes and the specific species present in the sand. More stable sediment, such as is found in sandy inlets or extensive coastal sandflats are LMS.PCer or LMS.MacAre.
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