Beggiatoa spp. on anoxic sublittoral mud
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Sublittoral soft anoxic mud, often in areas with poor water exchange with the open sea, can have a conspicuous bacterial mat covering of Beggiatoa spp. The anoxia may be a result of natural conditions of poor water exchange in some sealochs (and many Scandinavian fjords) or artificially under fish farm cages from nutrient enrichment. The fauna is normally impoverished at such sites, with few elements of the infaunal communities present in other muddy biotopes. Scavenging species such as Asterias rubens and Carcinus maenas are typically present where the habitat is not too anoxic but in extreme conditions of anoxia little survives other than the Beggiatoa. The polychaete Ophiodromus flexuosus occurs in high densities at the interface between oxygenated and deoxygenated sediments (in Norwegian fjords).
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