Hediste diversicolor and oligochaetes in low salinity mud shores
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||A low species-rich community found in soft mud in low salinity conditions, typically at the head of estuaries. Oligochaete worms (Heterochaeta costata, Tubificoides benedii, T. pseudogaster and enchytraeids) are common or abundant together with the ragworm Hediste (Nereis) diversicolor and sometimes the mud amphipod Corophium volutator. This biotope is distinguishable from other reduced salinity muddy sand communities (LMU.HedMac.Pyg, LMU.HedMac.Mare) and mud communities (LMU.HedStr and LMU.HedScr) by the absence of bivalves (except possibly for a few Macoma balthica) and a generally reduced polychaete fauna. The polychaete Manayunkia aestuarina may be common in more saline conditions, whilst at the very upper limit of the estuary only oligochaetes would be expected. Corophium volutator can be present in firmer mud. Filamentous algae such as Enteromorpha spp. may form mats on the surface of the mud during the summer months. The mud is often very soft and fluid, with a 'wet' surface appearance. LMU.HedStr has a similar habitat but is not exposed to such low salinity levels.|
|Has Current Version||1|
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