Fabulina fabula and Magelona mirabilis with venerid bivalves in infralittoral compacted fine sand
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||In stable, fine, compacted sands in the infralittoral and littoral fringe, communities occur that are dominated by venerid bivalves such as Chamelea gallina. The biotope may be characterised by a prevalence of Fabulina fabula and Magelona mirabilis. Remote grab sampling is likely to under-estimate deep-burrowing species such as Ensis sp. (Warwick & Davis 1977). Slightly muddy examples may have low numbers of Mysella bidentata. The community is relatively stable in its species composition, unlike IGS.Sell, which is closely allied and collectively considered to be the 'shallow Venus community' or 'boreal off-shore sand association' of previous workers (see Petersen 1918; Jones 1950; Thorson 1957). IGS.FabMag differs from IGS.Sell because of the prevalence of the brittle-shelled F. fabula over the more robust Spisula elliptica and because it occurs in generally finer, more compacted sands. These communities have been shown to correlate well with particular levels of current induced 'bed-stress' (Warwick & Uncles 1980). The 'Arctic Venus Community' and 'Mediterranean Venus Community' described to the north and south of the UK (Thorson 1957) probably occur in the same habitat and appears to be the same biotope described as the Ophelia borealis community in northern France and the central North Sea (Künitzer et al. 1992). In very shallow water and eulittoral sands this biotope may give way to IMS.MacAbr. Sites with this biotope may undergo transitions in community composition e.g. IMS.SpiSpi may be a transitional community between IGS.FabMag and CMS.AfilEcor (see Salzwedel, Rachor & Gerdes 1985).|
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