Dense Lanice conchilega in tide-swept lower shore sand
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Medium to fine sand, which is usually clean but may contain some fines and supports dense populations of Lanice conchilega, usually on the lower shore but also sometimes on water-logged mid shores. The biotope occurs under tide-swept conditions in sheltered straits, sounds and fully marine sealochs or on shores moderately exposed to wave action. The biotope is distinguished from others in sandy beaches by the presence of Lanice conchilega at levels of common and above or as the main polychaete component. Other polychaetes present are tolerant of sand scour or mobility of the surface levels of the sediment and include glycerid polychaetes, Anaitides mucosa, Nephtys cirrosa, Nephtys hombergii and Pygospio elegans. Few crustaceans are found regularly and the bivalve component is restricted to cockles Cerastoderma edule and more rarely Macoma balthica. Pebbles and cobbles may also be mixed in with lower shore tide-swept sand with dense Lanice conchilega between the cobbles, but the infaunal component is rarely sampled. The infaunal community under these circumstances, provided that the cobbles are not packed very close together, will be similar to that in areas of purer sand. Dense L. conchilega also occurs in shallow sublittoral sediments (IGS.Lcon).|
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