Biodiversity & Conservation

Aphelochaeta marioni and Tubificoides spp. in variable salinity infralittoral mud


<i>%Aphelochaeta marioni%</i> and <i>Tubificoides</i> spp. in variable salinity infralittoral mud
Distribution map

SS.IMU.EstMu.AphTub 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.

Community Importance Species name Common Name
Key structural Polydora ciliata A bristleworm
Important characterizing Aphelochaeta marioni A bristleworm
Important other Hediste diversicolor Ragworm
Important other Hydrobia ulvae Laver spire shell
Important other Lanice conchilega Sand mason worm


The species listed are ones that commonly occur in the biotope and represent a range of functional types. Polydora ciliata gives structure to the biotope by stabilizing sediments and may also be a dominant species excluding others. Aphelochaeta marioni is characteristic of the biotope. Hediste diversicolor occurs in the biotope but has been included in the species representative of sensitivity to represent similar polychaetes such as Nephtys hombergi.

Additional information

Nephtys hombergi and Tubificoides spp. have also been researched as a part of the sensitivity assessment although separate reviews have not yet (April 2002) been prepared. Four hundred and seventy two species have been recorded from this biotope by the Marine Nature Conservation Review (JNCC, 1999) although many in small numbers or in few examples.

This review can be cited as follows:

Hiscock, K. 2002. Aphelochaeta marioni and Tubificoides spp. in variable salinity infralittoral mud. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21/04/2014]. Available from: <>