Biodiversity & Conservation

Abra alba, Nucula nitida and Corbula gibba in circalittoral muddy sand or slightly mixed sediment


<i>%Abra alba%</i>, <i>%Nucula nitida%</i> and <i>%Corbula gibba%</i> in circalittoral muddy sand or slightly mixed sediment
Distribution map

SS.CMS._.AbrNucCor 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 Recorded in the inshore fishing grounds of St. Andrews and Aberdeenshire, off the Cumberland coast, in waters off South West England, the outer Bristol Channel and at various locations in the Irish Sea. The biotope is also present in inner Danish waters and in the German Bight.
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

Muddy sands or slightly mixed sediments in sheltered or slightly reduced salinity environments may be characterized by the presence of the bivalves Abra alba, Nucula nitidosa and Corbula gibba as well as Nucula nucleus, Lagis koreni and Nephtys species. The echinoderms Echinocardium cordatum, Ophiura albida and Ophiura ophiura may also be present. Sandier habitats contain the CMS.AfilEcor (Amphiura filiformis and Echinocardium cordatum in circalittoral clean or slightly muddy sand) biotope and increasing silt (and depth) gives rise to the CMU.BriAchi (Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral mud) biotope. The relative density of the characterizing species in this biotope is known to vary from year to year (Molander 1962); Nucula nitidosa can, in some cases, be at least if not more prevalent than Abra alba (Salzwedel, Rachor & Gerdes 1985). (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. 2006. Abra alba, Nucula nitida and Corbula gibba in circalittoral muddy sand or slightly mixed sediment. 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: <>