Capitella capitata in enriched sublittoral muddy sediments
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||The polychaete Capitella capitata is an opportunist especially associated with organically enriched and polluted sediments (Warren 1977; Pearson & Rosenberg 1978) where it may be superabundant. Although more widely occurring, when this species occurs in high numbers and the overall species richness is considerably reduced, the sediments are invariably anoxic and often have a very high organic load. Nematodes, Tubificoides, Pygospio elegans and Malacoceros fuliginosus may also survive in this habitat, but rarely in anything but comparatively low numbers. This biotope may also occur to some extent in the intertidal. IMS.Cap may become established as a result of anthropogenic activities such as fish farming and sewerage effluent but may also occur with natural enrichment as a result of, for example, coastal bird roosts. C. capitata may also occur in high numbers in estuaries (see IMU.CapTub), but this may be a result of competitive refuge rather than organic enrichment (Wolff 1973).|
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