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

Text page icon Habitat description

Map icon Distribution of biotope in Britain and Ireland Recorded from estuarine habitats in England and in south Wales.
National importance Not available

Text page icon Description of biotope

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

Variable salinity cohesive muddy sediment dominated by the polychaete Aphelochaeta marioni and the oligochaetes Tubificoides spp. The polychaetes Polydora ciliata, Cossura longocirrata and Melinna palmata may also occur in high numbers. The cirratulid polychaete Caulleriella zetlandica may also occur (there is still inconsistency in the identification of the cirratulid group, compounded by fragmentation during sample processing). This biotope is very common in stable muddy environments and may extend from reduced salinity to fully marine conditions. The biotope may be separated from similar biotopes such as IMU.NhomTub by the abundance of Aphelochaeta marioni, terebellids and an indication of the stability of the sediment. In areas of mixed sediment Aphelochaeta marioni may also occur in high numbers. In this case it may be difficult to separate IMU.AphTub from IMX.PolMtru requiring classification on sediment characteristics and associated species such as the bivalve Mya truncata in addition to the abundance of Aphelochaeta marioni. It may be separated from IMX.CreAph by the relative abundances of the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata in addition to Aphelochaeta marioni. This biotope may also be found in conjunction with IMS.MacAbr. (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information


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 01/12/2015]. Available from: <>