Biodiversity & Conservation

Sabellaria spinulosa on stable circalittoral mixed sediment


SS.SBR.PoR.SspiMx

Image Ken Collins - Close up of Sabellaria spinulosa mound showing worm tubes composed of cemented sand grains and shell fragments. Image width ca XX cm.
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Distribution map

recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)


  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP
  • OSPAR

Marine natural heritage importance

Listed under EC Habitats Directive
UK Biodiversity Action Plan
National importance Not available
Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1)

Biotope importance

George & Warwick (1985) found that the structural complexity provided by Sabellaria spinulosa facilitated the development of a community with a large number of small species. The structure of the reef means that both fauna associated with hard substratum and sedimentary environments may be found. (George & Warwick, 1985) did not identify colonial epifaunal species in their study). In the Wash, sites associated with Sabellaria spinulosa were found to have almost three times as many species as sites with no or little Sabellaria spinulosa (National Rivers Authority, 1984, cited in Jones et al., 2000).

Exploitation

Additional information icon Additional information

Sabellaria spinulosa reefs have a UK BAP designation. When found in reef or crust form Sabellaria spinulosa provides structure for other organisms in the form of crevices and shelter. Some species also bore into the sandy crust. George & Warwick (1985) found that the structural complexity provided by Sabellaria spinulosa facilitated the development of a community with a large number of small species.


This review can be cited as follows:

Marshall, C.E. 2006. Sabellaria spinulosa on stable circalittoral mixed sediment. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25/11/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatimportance.php?habitatid=377&code=1997>