Biodiversity & Conservation

Sabellaria spinulosa crusts on silty turbid circalittoral rock



Image Anon. - Sabellaria spinulosa crusts on silty turbid circalittoral rock. Image width ca 10 cm.
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Distribution map

CR.MCR.CSab.Sspi.As recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

The MERMAID database (JNCC, 1999) shows two records of MCR.Sspi from northeast England and Hiscock (1979) records a community that probably corresponds to this biotope from the Gower peninsula, Wales. The biotope most likely also occurs in the Solway Firth (K. Hiscock, own observations). The most recent (2003) version of the biotopes classification records the biotope (as CR.MCR.CSAB.Sspi) as recorded from the Lleyn Peninsula, Lundy Island (including the wreck of the MV Robert) and the north-east and south coast of England.

Habitat preferences

Temperature range preferences - See additional information

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

Limiting Nutrients - Data deficient

Other preferences - High levels of suspended sediment.

Additional information

  • Density of Sabellaria spinulosa is high. At the Bristol Channel location studied by George & Warwick (1986), densities in excess of 4,000/m² for loosely aggregated Sabellaria spinulosa were recorded whilst the area sampled by Hiscock & Rostron (unpublished) on a level hard substratum had a single layer crust with 9,561 individual Sabellaria spinulosa in 1.4m².
  • High levels of suspended sediment are required in order for Sabellaria spinulosa to construct its tubes.

This review can be cited as follows:

Jackson, A. & Hiscock, K. 2006. Sabellaria spinulosa crusts on silty turbid circalittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 27/11/2015]. Available from: <>