Biodiversity & Conservation

Semi-permanent tube-building amphipods and polychaetes in sublittoral mud or muddy sand

SS.IMU.MarMu.TubeAP


Semi-permanent tube-building amphipods and polychaetes in sublittoral mud or muddy sand
Distribution map

SS.IMU.MarMu.TubeAP recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)


  • EC_Habitats

Species indicative of sensitivity

To assess the sensitivity of the biotope, the sensitivity of component species is reviewed. Those species that are considered to be particularly indicative of the sensitivity of the biotope, and for which research has been undertaken in detail are shown below (see selection criteria). The biology of other component species of the biotope is also taken into account wherever information is known to the researcher.

Species found especially in this biotope

  • Haploops tubicola
Community Importance Species name Common Name
Key functional Polydora ciliata A bristleworm
Key functional Spiophanes bombyx A bristleworm
Important characterizing Haploops tubicola An amphipod
Important characterizing Ampelisca spp. An amphipod
Important characterizing Corophium spp. An amphipod

Explanation

The tube building polychaetes Polydora ciliata and Spiophanes bombyx form a key component of the biotope through stabilizing the sediment and encouraging faunal diversity. Loss of these species would probably result in a much more uniform habitat dominated by infaunal deposit feeding polychaetes. The amphipods, either Haploops tubicola or Ampelisca sp. (depending on environment) and Corophium sp. are characteristic of the biotope. Loss of these species would result in loss of the biotope but would not necessarily have cascading effects on the community. However, there are probably important effects on the trophic link between these benthic prey species and the demersal fish which are strong predators.

In the absence of complete Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews for the amphipods that characterize this biotope, the review of the tube dwelling amphipod Jassa falcata has been used for reference.

Additional information


This review can be cited as follows:

Rayment, W.J. 2002. Semi-permanent tube-building amphipods and polychaetes in sublittoral mud or muddy sand. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 24/10/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatreproduction.php?habitatid=136&code=1997>