Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes (often with Arenicola marina) in clean sand shores
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Mid and lower shore clean sand on wave-exposed or moderately wave-exposed coasts support a community of burrowing amphipods and polychaetes. Amphipods Bathyporeia pelagica, B. pilosa, B. sarsi, Pontocrates arenarius and the isopod Eurydice pulchra are typically present. Polychaetes make the greater part of the community in terms of species richness and are dominated by Nephtys cirrosa, Scolelepis squamata and Arenicola marina. The medium and fine sand remains damp throughout the tidal cycle and contains little organic matter. The lugworm Arenicola marina present are usually as a temporary recruitment that are likely to be washed out during storms. The presence of polychaetes may be 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. LGS.AP.P is distinguished from LGS.AP.Pon in that it is more stable sediment with fewer amphipod species and greater density of polychaetes, particularly Arenicola marina and Capitella capitata. This community differs from the community of burrowing amphipods (LGS.AEur) in its variety of polychaete species. More stable sediment, found in sandy inlets or extensive coastal sandflats are considered to be LMS.PCer or LMS.MacAre, depending upon the community present.
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