Biodiversity & Conservation

Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral mud


<i>%Brissopsis lyrifera%</i> and <i>%Amphiura chiajei%</i> in circalittoral mud
Distribution map

SS.CMU._.BriAchi recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

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.

Community Importance Species name Common Name
Key functional Brissopsis lyrifera Heart urchin
Important characterizing Amphiura chiajei Brittle star
Important other Calocaris macandreae Mud shrimp
Important other Nephrops norvegicus Norway lobster


Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei are both important characterizing species in this biotope. However, owing to its bioturbatory activity which enhances local meiofaunal heterogeneity Brissopsis lyrifera is given key functional status. The burrowing mud shrimp, Calocaris macandreae, and Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus, are also important species within the biotope because their deeper burrows enhance the oxygenation of the substratum and enhance the survival of a variety of small species (Pearson & Rosenberg, 1978). In the absence of sensitivity information for Calocaris macandreae, Callianassa subterranea will be used as a surrogate species where appropriate.

Additional information

This review can be cited as follows:

Budd, G.C. 2004. Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral mud. 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: <>