Hediste diversicolor and Scrobicularia plana in reduced salinity mud shores
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Mid and upper shore sandy mud and mud that is subject to variable and reduced salinity is typically colonised by the polychaete Hediste (Nereis) diversicolor and the bivalve Scrobicularia plana. The polychaetes Eteone longa, Pygospio elegans and Streblospio shrubsolii, oligochaetes, particularly Tubificoides benedii and the isopod Cyathura carinata are all characteristic of the infaunal assemblage. Other bivalves, such as the Baltic tellin Macoma balthica and cockle Cerastoderma edule, are also frequently recorded. The mud snail Hydrobia ulvae is usually common. The green alga Ulva lactuca may colonise the surface of the mud in the summer months or it may be covered by a mat of filamentous algae such as Enteromorpha spp. Typically, the sediment is wet in appearance and has an anoxic layer below 1 cm depth. The surface of the mud has the distinctive 'crows foot' pattern formed by Scrobicularia plana. The biotope LMU.HedStr is very similar, but with some differences in the polychaetes and bivalves recorded. In LMU.HedStr, the frequency and abundance of Eteone longa is lower, whilst the frequency of the polychaetes Nephtys hombergii, Streblospio shrubsolii, Aphelochaeta marioni and Melinna palmata is greater. The bivalve richness in LMU.HedScr is typically higher with a greater frequency of Cerastoderma edule, Macoma balthica, Scrobicularia plana and Abra tenuis. LMU.HedScr may be intermediate between LMU.HedStr and LMU.HedMac or LMU.HedMac.Mare. It is muddier and is subject to a lower salinity level than LMU.HedMac. The diversity of species recorded is much greater than in LMU.HedOl.
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