Biodiversity & Conservation

Sea pens and burrowing megafauna in circalittoral soft mud



Image Mark Davies - Pennatula phosphorea and Turritella communis in muddy sediment. Image width ca XX cm.
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Distribution map

SS.SMu.CFiMu.SpnMeg recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

CMU.SpMeg, and the sub-biotope CMU.SpMeg.Fun are typical of the deep mud habitats of the Scottish sea lochs. The biotope CMU.SpMeg has been recorded in most of the Scottish sea lochs (Howson et al., 1994) and in the Shetland voes (Howson, 1988). It has also been observed in the north-eastern Irish Sea (Hughes & Atkinson, 1997) and in the deep offshore waters of the North Sea (Dyer et al., 1982).

Habitat preferences

Temperature range preferences - 5 - 15 °C

Water clarity preferences - Medium clarity / Medium turbidity
Low clarity / High turbidity

Limiting Nutrients - Not relevant

Other preferences - Muddy sediment

Additional information

This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. 2004. Sea pens and burrowing megafauna in circalittoral soft mud. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 26/11/2015]. Available from: <>