Spisula elliptica and venerid bivalves in infralittoral clean sand or shell gravel
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Coarse, loose sands subject to moderately strong water movement and containing Chamelea gallina may be characterised by a prevalence of Spisula elliptica. IGS.Sell differs from IGS.FabMag because it has generally coarser loose sands influenced by greater water movement and populations of the more robust Spisula elliptica rather than the brittle-shelled Fabulina fabula. The community is less stable in its species composition than IGS.FabMag to which it is closely allied and collectively considered to be the 'Shallow Venus Community', the 'Boreal Off-shore Sand Association' and the 'Goniadella-Spisula association' of previous workers (see Petersen 1918; Jones 1951; Thorson 1957; Salzwedel, Rachor & Gerdes. 1985). Epifaunal communities may be reduced in this biotope when compared to IGS.FabMag; both types may have surface sand waves which may be indicative of the presence of venerid bivalves (Warwick & Davies 1977). This hypothesis, however, requires testing. Remote grab sampling is likely to under-estimate deep-burrowing and more dispersed species such as Paphia, Ensis and Spatangus. This biotope may give way to others characterised by Angulus tenuis, Donax vittatus and Nephtys caeca on exposed lower shore sands (LGS.AP.Pon) (Jones 1950). In southern regions of the UK, S. elliptica is replaced by S. subtruncata in this biotope. It is possible that Spisula solida may also be characteristic of this habitat (needs clarification) (see Kühne & Rachnor 1996) and it should be noted that for some workers the three species of Spisula commonly encountered in UK waters may present difficulties in identification.|
|Has Current Version||1|
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