Biodiversity & Conservation

Pectenogammarus planicrurus in mid shore well-sorted gravel or coarse sand



Image Paul Brazier - Gravel and sand shore. Image width ca XX cm.
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Distribution map

LS.LGS.Sh.Pec recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

Text page icon Habitat description

Map icon Distribution of biotope in Britain and Ireland A localized and patchy biotope, that is represented on the English Channel coast between Brighton, Sussex and Deal, Kent, and at locations around Aberystwyth, on the west coast of Wales. Other locations include, Eype in Dorset, Penzance, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and east, south and west coasts of Ireland.
National importance Scarce

Text page icon Description of biotope

For a full description of this biotope including characterizing species, distribution, survey information and references visit JNCC

Shores of well-sorted gravel with a predominant particle size of 4 mm but ranging between 3 and 6 mm may support populations of the amphipod Pectenogammarus planicrurus. Material finer than 2 mm reduces the ability of the amphipod to survive. The biotope is often associated with the lee side of obstacles such as rock outcrops and groynes; this may be due to the deposition of algal debris, shelter from wave action or degree of sorting due to localised tidal flow around the obstacle (most likely a combination of the first and last influences). The biotope is characterized by dense populations of the amphipod Pectenogammarus planicrurus, although the species is usually also present as patchy populations within the mid shore band of other moderately wave-exposed sandy shore biotopes (e.g. LGS.Tal - Talitrid amphipods in decomposing seaweed on the strand-line, LGS.AP - Burrowing amphipods and polychaetes in clean sand shores). The amphipod is tolerant of variable salinity, although a preference for a specific salinity regime has not been determined. As this habitat is regularly under-surveyed, its distribution is unclear and may be a variant of LGS.Tal demonstrated by the similarity of species found and presence of strand material. (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Budd, G.C. 2002. Pectenogammarus planicrurus in mid shore well-sorted gravel or coarse sand. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 28/11/2015]. Available from: <>