Capitella capitata and Tubificoides spp. in reduced salinity infralittoral muddy sediment
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Reduced salinity muddy sediment dominated by the polychaete Capitella capitata with a very low species richness. Large numbers of the oligochaetes Tubificoides spp. may be found in conjunction with the C. capitata. The biotope is found in the muddier sediments, usually with a high organic content, away from tidal channels in estuaries. On occasion relatively large numbers of C. capitata can be found in sandier sediments within a more mobile habitat although these are thought largely to be imported by tidal streams from nearby populations a definition of a separate biotope may be appropriate. A similar biotope IMU.Tub can be separated from IMU.CapTub by a swap in the dominant species from C. capitata to Tubificoides spp and may occur in lower salinity. More mobile muds which occur in areas with an extremely high suspended particulate component to the water column, IMU.MobMud, may contain a similar suite of species to IMU.CapTub although in lower abundance. Only a description of the sediment consistency in the field would allow positive classification. The presence of dense Capitella has classically been associated with organically enriched and physically disturbed habitats in the marine environment (Warren 1977; Pearson & Rosenberg 1978). In estuaries the presence of this biotope may be associated with other natural factors including the occurrence of a competitive refuge for C. capitata in the reduced-salinity environment (Wolff 1973).|
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