|Basic Information||Biotope classification||Ecology||Habitat preferences and distribution||Species composition||Sensitivity||Importance|
SS.SSa.IFiSa.TbAmPo recorded () and expected () distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)
For a list of 2004 characterising species please see the JNCC website.
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.
|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|
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.
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 26/10/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatreproduction.php?habitatid=136&code=2004>