Barren shingle or gravel shores
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Shingle or gravel shores, typically with sediment particle size from 4-256 mm, are normally only found on exposed open coasts in fully marine conditions. Such shores tend to have little associated finer sediment and due to their high degree of mobility support virtually no macrofauna. Larger 'sediment' is considered to be boulders and is addressed in the mixed shores section of the classification. Coarse sand, the next grade of sediment smaller than this size range is also found on exposed open coasts and has no distinct macrofaunal community as described in LGS.BarSnd. The shingle shore and mobile littoral sand biotopes are therefore distinguished solely on the basis of their substratum (i.e. particle size). Macrofauna are absent or extremely sparse in this very mobile and freely draining substratum. Trial excavations are unlikely to reveal macroscopic infauna. However, the few species that may be found are those washed into the habitat by the ebbing tide, including the occasional amphipod or small polychaete. There may be a temporary cover of the green algae Enteromorpha or Ulva during periods of stability in the summer.
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