|Basic Information||Biotope classification||Ecology||Habitat preferences and distribution||Species composition||Sensitivity||Importance|
SS.SMx.SMxVS.AphPol recorded () and expected () distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)
EC Habitats Directive
|National importance||Not available|
|Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1)||Estuaries
Polydora ciliata is a serious pest of oysters and mussels, but invades only the shell and does not eat the soft tissue. When infestation is heavy, the shell is weakened and this makes the mollusc more susceptible to predation by crabs (see MarLIN review). This biotope will (amongst others) represent a reservoir population for Polydora ciliata.
Intertidal and shallow subtidal mud and sand flats are important nursery areas for fish such as plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, as well as feeding areas for bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, dab, Limanda limanda, sole, Solea solea, and flounder, Platichthys flesus. They feed predominantly on polychaetes, immature bivalves and bivalve siphons (see review by Elliot et al., 1998). The biotope is probably an important feeding area for mobile epifauna, such as shore crabs, Carcinus maenas (Feder & Pearson, 1988). Shorebirds predate bivalves (Meire, 1993) but the biotope is probably not accessible for long enough for it to be a very important food source.
This review can be cited as follows:
Tyler-Walters, H. 2002. Polydora ciliata, Mya truncata and solitary ascidians in variable salinity infralittoral mixed sediment.. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 16/04/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatimportance.php?habitatid=114&code=2004>