Biodiversity & Conservation

Sea pens and burrowing megafauna in circalittoral soft mud

SS.CMU._.SpMeg


CMU.SpMeg

Image Mark Davies - Pennatula phosphorea and Turritella communis in muddy sediment. Image width ca XX cm.
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Distribution map

SS.CMU._.SpMeg recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)


  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP
  • OSPAR

Habitat sensitivity

Physical Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Substratum Loss High Moderate Moderate Major decline High
Smothering Low Immediate Not sensitive No change High
Increase in suspended sediment Low Immediate Not sensitive No change Moderate
Decrease in suspended sediment Low Very high Very low No change Moderate
Desiccation Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant High
Increase in emergence regime Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant High
Decrease in emergence regime Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant High
Increase in water flow rate High High Moderate Minor decline Moderate
Decrease in water flow rate High High Moderate Minor decline Low
Increase in temperature Intermediate High Low Minor decline Low
Decrease in temperature Intermediate High Low Minor decline Low
Increase in turbidity Low Very high Very low No change Moderate
Decrease in turbidity Low Very high Very low No change Moderate
Increase in wave exposure High Moderate Moderate Major decline Moderate
Decrease in wave exposure Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant High
Noise Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant High
Visual Presence Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant High
Abrasion & physical disturbance Intermediate High Low Decline Moderate
Displacement Low Immediate Not sensitive No change Moderate

Chemical Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Synthetic compound contamination High Moderate Moderate Decline Low
Heavy metal contamination Intermediate High Low Decline High
Hydrocarbon contamination High Moderate Moderate Major decline High
Radionuclide contamination Low High Low Minor decline Moderate
Changes in nutrient levels Intermediate High Low Minor decline Moderate
Increase in salinity High Moderate Moderate Major decline Moderate
Decrease in salinity High Moderate Moderate Major decline Moderate
Changes in oxygenation Low Immediate Not sensitive Minor decline Moderate

Biological Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites Intermediate High Low High
Introduction of non-native species Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant Moderate
Extraction of this species Intermediate High Low Minor decline Moderate
Extraction of other species Intermediate High Low Minor decline Low

Species used to indicate biotope intolerance

Physical factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Callianassa subterranea
Key functional
Amphiura filiformis
Important functional
Liocarcinus depurator
Important functional
Substratum LossHighHighHighIntermediate
SmotheringLowTolerantLowTolerant
Increase in suspended sedimentLowTolerantLowTolerant
Decrease in suspended sedimentTolerant
DesiccationNot relevantLowLowNot relevant
Increase in emergence regimeNot relevantLowLowNot relevant
Decrease in emergence regimeTolerant
Increase in water flow rateHighLowHighIntermediate
Decrease in water flow rateTolerant
Increase in temperatureIntermediateLowLowIntermediate
Decrease in temperatureLow
Increase in turbidityTolerantTolerantLowTolerant
Decrease in turbidityTolerant
Increase in wave exposureHighLowHighIntermediate
Decrease in wave exposureNot relevant
NoiseLowTolerantLowTolerant
Visual PresenceTolerantTolerantTolerantTolerant
Abrasion & physical disturbanceIntermediateNot relevantLowHigh
DisplacementLowLowLowTolerant

Chemical factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Callianassa subterranea
Key functional
Amphiura filiformis
Important functional
Liocarcinus depurator
Important functional
Synthetic compound contaminationInsufficient informationHighHighInsufficient information
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationIntermediateIntermediateIntermediate
Hydrocarbon contaminationInsufficient informationHighHighInsufficient information
Radionuclide contaminationLowIntermediateInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Changes in nutrient levelsLowLowTolerant*Insufficient information
Increase in salinityHighHighNot relevantIntermediate
Decrease in salinityHigh
Changes in oxygenationHighLowLowHigh

Biological factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Callianassa subterranea
Key functional
Amphiura filiformis
Important functional
Liocarcinus depurator
Important functional
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationIntermediate
Introduction of non-native speciesTolerantNot relevantNot relevantTolerant
Extraction of this speciesIntermediateIntermediateNot relevantIntermediate
Extraction of other speciesTolerantTolerantTolerantTolerant

Species used to indicate biotope recoverability

Physical factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Callianassa subterranea
Key functional
Amphiura filiformis
Important functional
Liocarcinus depurator
Important functional
Substratum LossModerateHighModerateHigh
SmotheringImmediateNot relevantVery highNot relevant
Increase in suspended sedimentImmediateNot relevantVery highNot relevant
Decrease in suspended sedimentNot relevant
DesiccationNot relevantVery highVery highNot relevant
Increase in emergence regimeNot relevantVery highVery highNot relevant
Decrease in emergence regimeNot relevant
Increase in water flow rateModerateHighModerateHigh
Decrease in water flow rateNot relevant
Increase in temperatureModerateHighHighHigh
Decrease in temperatureHigh
Increase in turbidityNot relevantNot relevantVery highNot relevant
Decrease in turbidityNot relevant
Increase in wave exposureHighHighModerateVery high
Decrease in wave exposureNot relevant
NoiseImmediateNot relevantImmediateNot relevant
Visual PresenceNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Abrasion & physical disturbanceModerateNot relevantVery highHigh
DisplacementImmediateImmediateImmediateNot relevant

Chemical factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Callianassa subterranea
Key functional
Amphiura filiformis
Important functional
Liocarcinus depurator
Important functional
Synthetic compound contaminationInsufficient informationHighModerateNot relevant
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationHighHighHigh
Hydrocarbon contaminationInsufficient informationHighModerateInsufficient information
Radionuclide contaminationHighHighInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Changes in nutrient levelsHighVery highHighInsufficient information
Increase in salinityModerateHighNot relevantHigh
Decrease in salinityModerate
Changes in oxygenationModerateVery highVery highHigh

Biological factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Callianassa subterranea
Key functional
Amphiura filiformis
Important functional
Liocarcinus depurator
Important functional
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationHigh
Introduction of non-native speciesNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Extraction of this speciesHighHighNot relevantHigh
Extraction of other speciesNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant

This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. 2004. Sea pens and burrowing megafauna in circalittoral soft mud. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 01/08/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatsensitivity.php?habitatid=131&code=1997>