Venerid bivalves in circalittoral coarse sand or gravel
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Circalittoral gravels, coarse sands and shell gravels, often in relatively deep water, may be characterised by the presence of conspicuous venerid bivalves such as Circomphalus casina, Clausinella fasciata, Timoclea ovata and other robust bivalve species such as Glycymeris glycymeris and Astarte sulcata. Spatangus purpureus may also be present especially where the interstices of the gravel are filled by finer particles, in which case, Gari tellinella and Timoclea ovata may also be prevalent (Glémarec 1973). Such communities in gravely sediments may be relatively species-rich as they may also contain epifauna such as Hydroides norvegicus and Pomatoceros lamarcki. In sand wave areas this biotope may contain elements of the IGS.Sell and IGS.FabMag biotopes. This biotope has previously been described as the 'Deep Venus Community' and the 'Boreal Off-Shore Gravel Association' by other workers (Ford 1923; Jones 1950). CGS.Ven may contain more sub-biotopes than have yet been described in the present work: e.g. Ford (1923) describes a 'Series A' and a 'Series B' characterised by Echinocardium cordatum-Chamelea gallina and Spatangus purpurea-Clausinella fasciata. Collectively, the CGS.Ven biotope dominates the offshore Irish Sea benthos (Mackie, Oliver & Rees 1995).|
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