Biodiversity & Conservation

Beggiatoa spp. on anoxic sublittoral mud



Image Keith Hiscock - A mat of the filamentous bacterium Beggiatoa spp. Image width ca 10 cm.
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Distribution map

SS.CMU._.Beg 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

  • Beggiatoa sp.
Community Importance Species name Common Name
Important characterizing Beggiatoa A bacterium


This biotope is characterized by mats of the bacterium Beggiatoa spp. Since no or very few other macrofaunal species at least are present in the biotope the sensitivity of Beggiatoa is probably representative of the sensitivity of the whole biotope.

Additional information

The MNCR recorded 149 species in records of this biotope. However, only scavenging Carcinus maenas and Asterias rubens were recorded as common. Numerous other species occur at low abundance or in only a few records of the biotope, probably reflecting the patchy nature of the Beggiatoa spp. mats.

This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. 2002. Beggiatoa spp. on anoxic sublittoral mud. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 30/11/2015]. Available from: <>