Mytilus edulis beds on eulittoral mixed substrata
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Moderately exposed to very sheltered mid and lower eulittoral mixed substrata (mainly cobbles and pebbles on muddy sediments) with dense aggregations of the mussel Mytilus edulis. In high densities the mussels bind the substratum and provide a habitat for many species more commonly found on rocky shores. Fucus vesiculosus is often found attached to either the mussels or the cobbles and it frequently occurs at high abundance. The mussels are usually encrusted with the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides (and/ or Elminius modestus in areas of reduced salinity). Littorina littorea and small Carcinus maenas are common amongst the mussels, whilst areas of sediment may contain Arenicola marina, Lanice conchilega, Cerastoderma edule and other infaunal species. In contrast with the mussel beds found on rocky shores (MLR.MF) this biotope contains few limpets or red algae. This biotope is also found in lower shore tide-swept areas, such as in the tidal narrows of Scottish sealochs.
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