Biodiversity & Conservation

Mytilus edulis beds on variable salinity infralittoral mixed sediment


<i>%Mytilus edulis%</i> beds on variable salinity infralittoral mixed sediment
Distribution map

SS.IMX.EstMx.MytV recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Text page icon Habitat description

Map icon Distribution of biotope in Britain and Ireland Found in a few scattered locations around the coast of Britain in sheltered bays and estuaries and recorded in Lough Foyle in Ireland.
National importance Uncommon

Text page icon Description of biotope

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

Shallow sublittoral mixed sediment, in fully marine coastal habitats or sometimes in variable salinity conditions in the outer regions of estuaries, are characterised by beds of the common mussel Mytilus edulis. Other characterising infaunal species may include the amphipod Gammarus salinus and oligochaetes of the genus Tubificoides. The polychaetes Harmothoe spp., Kefersteinia cirrata and Heteromastus filiformis are also important. Epifaunal species include the whelks Nucella lapillus and Buccinum undatum, the common starfish Asterias rubens, the spider crab Maja squinado and the anemone Urticina felina. Relatively few records are available for this biotope and it is possible that as more data is accumulated separate estuarine and fully marine sub-biotopes may be described. Further clarification may also be required with regard to the overlap between littoral and sublittoral mussel beds and with regard to mussel beds biotopes on hard substratum.

Additional information icon Additional information

This review can be cited as follows:

2001. Mytilus edulis beds on variable salinity infralittoral mixed sediment. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 27/11/2015]. Available from: <>