Biodiversity & Conservation

Muddy sand shores



Image Joint Nature Conservation Committee - View across a cockle strand (biotope LMS.Pcer). Image width foreground ca 10 m.
Image copyright information

Distribution map

LS.LSa.MuSa recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

For a list of 2004 characterising species please see the JNCC website.

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.

Rare of scarce species associated with this biotope


The biotope complex LMS.MS (Muddy sand shores) is composed of three biotopes that differ in the benthic communities present. Therefore, key or important species at the biotope complex level have not been suggested.

Additional information

Muddy sand biotopes support communities of relatively low species richness but high abundance. Communities are predominated by sessile polychaetes and bivalves although epibenthic amphipods may also be present (LMS.BatCor). Subtidal species may also occur. The rare and scare species indicated only occur in littoral muddy sands of Fleet, Portland Harbour and Poole Harbour.

This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. & Marshall, C. 2006. Muddy sand shores. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25/11/2015]. Available from: <>