Biodiversity & Conservation

Sabellaria spinulosa on stable circalittoral mixed sediment


SS.SBR.PoR.SspiMx

Image Ken Collins - Close up of Sabellaria spinulosa mound showing worm tubes composed of cemented sand grains and shell fragments. Image width ca XX cm.
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Distribution map

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 High Moderate Major decline Moderate
Smothering Intermediate High Low Decline Low
Increase in suspended sediment Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant Moderate
Decrease in suspended sediment Intermediate High Low Minor decline Moderate
Desiccation Low Immediate Not sensitive No change Moderate
Increase in emergence regime Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant
Decrease in emergence regime Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant
Increase in water flow rate High High Moderate Major decline Moderate
Decrease in water flow rate High High Moderate Major decline Moderate
Increase in temperature Intermediate Very high Low No change Very low
Decrease in temperature Low Very high Very low Not relevant Very low
Increase in turbidity Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant Moderate
Decrease in turbidity Tolerant* Not relevant Not sensitive* Not relevant Moderate
Increase in wave exposure High High Moderate Major decline Low
Decrease in wave exposure High High Moderate Decline Low
Noise Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant Moderate
Visual Presence Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Not relevant Moderate
Abrasion & physical disturbance Intermediate High Low Decline Moderate
Displacement High High Moderate Major decline Moderate

Chemical Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Synthetic compound contamination Intermediate High Low Decline Moderate
Heavy metal contamination Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient Information Insufficient information
Hydrocarbon contamination Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient Information Insufficient information
Radionuclide contamination Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient Information Insufficient information
Changes in nutrient levels Tolerant* Not relevant Not sensitive* No change Moderate
Increase in salinity Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant
Decrease in salinity Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive Minor decline Low
Changes in oxygenation Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient Information Insufficient information

Biological Factors

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

Species used to indicate biotope intolerance

Physical factors

Sabellaria spinulosa
Key Structuring
Balanus crenatus
Important other
Alcyonium digitatum
Important other
Pomatoceros triqueter
Important other
Substratum LossHighHighHighHigh
SmotheringLowHighIntermediateHigh
Increase in suspended sedimentLowLowLowLow
Decrease in suspended sedimentIntermediateLow
DesiccationTolerantHighNot relevantIntermediate
Increase in emergence regimeIntermediateHighNot relevantIntermediate
Decrease in emergence regimeTolerant*Tolerant*
Increase in water flow rateIntermediateLowTolerant*Tolerant*
Decrease in water flow rateIntermediateIntermediateTolerant
Increase in temperatureLowHighLowTolerant*
Decrease in temperatureTolerantLowIntermediate
Increase in turbidityTolerantLowLowTolerant
Decrease in turbidityIntermediateTolerant
Increase in wave exposureIntermediateLowTolerantLow
Decrease in wave exposureIntermediateIntermediateTolerant
NoiseTolerantTolerantTolerantTolerant
Visual PresenceTolerantTolerantTolerantTolerant
Abrasion & physical disturbanceIntermediateIntermediateIntermediateIntermediate
DisplacementHighHighHighLow

Chemical factors

Sabellaria spinulosa
Key Structuring
Balanus crenatus
Important other
Alcyonium digitatum
Important other
Pomatoceros triqueter
Important other
Synthetic compound contaminationTolerant*HighIntermediateInsufficient information
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationIntermediateInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Hydrocarbon contaminationInsufficient informationLowLowInsufficient information
Radionuclide contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Changes in nutrient levelsInsufficient informationIntermediateLowInsufficient information
Increase in salinityInsufficient informationLowIntermediateTolerant
Decrease in salinityIntermediateHigh
Changes in oxygenationIntermediateHighHighInsufficient information

Biological factors

Sabellaria spinulosa
Key Structuring
Balanus crenatus
Important other
Alcyonium digitatum
Important other
Pomatoceros triqueter
Important other
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Introduction of non-native speciesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationTolerant
Extraction of this speciesNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Extraction of other speciesIntermediateNot relevantIntermediateNot relevant

Species used to indicate biotope recoverability

Physical factors

Sabellaria spinulosa
Key Structuring
Balanus crenatus
Important other
Alcyonium digitatum
Important other
Pomatoceros triqueter
Important other
Substratum LossHighHighHighHigh
SmotheringImmediateHighHighHigh
Increase in suspended sedimentImmediateHighVery highHigh
Decrease in suspended sedimentHighHigh
DesiccationNot relevantHighNot relevantHigh
Increase in emergence regimeHighHighNot relevantHigh
Decrease in emergence regimeNot relevantNot relevant
Increase in water flow rateHighVery highNot relevantNot relevant
Decrease in water flow rateHighHighNot relevant
Increase in temperatureHighHighHighNot relevant
Decrease in temperatureNot relevantHighHigh
Increase in turbidityNot relevantVery highVery highNot relevant
Decrease in turbidityHighNot relevant
Increase in wave exposureHighVery highNot relevantHigh
Decrease in wave exposureHighHighNot relevant
NoiseNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Visual PresenceNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Abrasion & physical disturbanceHighHighHighHigh
DisplacementHighHighHighHigh

Chemical factors

Sabellaria spinulosa
Key Structuring
Balanus crenatus
Important other
Alcyonium digitatum
Important other
Pomatoceros triqueter
Important other
Synthetic compound contaminationNot relevantHighHighNot relevant
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationHighInsufficient informationNot relevant
Hydrocarbon contaminationInsufficient informationHighHighNot relevant
Radionuclide contaminationInsufficient informationNot relevantInsufficient informationNot relevant
Changes in nutrient levelsInsufficient informationHighHighNot relevant
Increase in salinityNot relevantVery highHighNot relevant
Decrease in salinityHighHigh
Changes in oxygenationHighHighHighNot relevant

Biological factors

Sabellaria spinulosa
Key Structuring
Balanus crenatus
Important other
Alcyonium digitatum
Important other
Pomatoceros triqueter
Important other
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesInsufficient informationNot relevantInsufficient informationNot relevant
Introduction of non-native speciesInsufficient informationNot relevantInsufficient informationNot relevant
Extraction of this speciesNot relevantNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Extraction of other speciesHighNot relevantHighNot relevant

This review can be cited as follows:

Marshall, C.E. 2006. Sabellaria spinulosa on stable circalittoral mixed sediment. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/08/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatsensitivity.php?habitatid=377&code=1997>