Biodiversity & Conservation

Virgularia mirabilis and Ophiura spp. on circalittoral sandy or shelly mud

SS.SMu.CSaMu.VirOphPmax


CMS.VirOph

Image Bernard Picton - Virgularia mirabilis, Cerianthus lloydii with Ophiocomina nigra on shelly muddy gravel. Image width ca XX cm.
Image copyright information

Distribution map

SS.SMu.CSaMu.VirOphPmax recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)


  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Habitat sensitivity

Physical Factors

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

Chemical Factors

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

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 Not relevant Not relevant
Introduction of non-native species Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive No change Moderate
Extraction of this species Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Low
Extraction of other species Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Not relevant Low

Species used to indicate biotope intolerance

Physical factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Amphiura filiformis
Important characterizing
Pecten maximus
Important other
Substratum LossHighHighHigh
SmotheringLowLowLow
Increase in suspended sedimentLowLowLow
Decrease in suspended sedimentTolerantTolerant
DesiccationNot relevantLowIntermediate
Increase in emergence regimeNot relevantLowNot relevant
Decrease in emergence regimeTolerantNot relevant
Increase in water flow rateHighHighLow
Decrease in water flow rateTolerantLow
Increase in temperatureIntermediateLowIntermediate
Decrease in temperatureLowHigh
Increase in turbidityTolerantLowTolerant
Decrease in turbidityTolerantTolerant
Increase in wave exposureHighHighIntermediate
Decrease in wave exposureNot relevantTolerant
NoiseLowLowTolerant
Visual PresenceTolerantTolerantLow
Abrasion & physical disturbanceIntermediateLowLow
DisplacementLowLowTolerant

Chemical factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Amphiura filiformis
Important characterizing
Pecten maximus
Important other
Synthetic compound contaminationInsufficient informationHighIntermediate
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationIntermediateIntermediate
Hydrocarbon contaminationInsufficient informationHighLow
Radionuclide contaminationLowInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Changes in nutrient levelsLowTolerant*Intermediate
Increase in salinityHighNot relevantNot relevant
Decrease in salinityHighIntermediate
Changes in oxygenationHighLowLow

Biological factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Amphiura filiformis
Important characterizing
Pecten maximus
Important other
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Introduction of non-native speciesTolerantNot relevantInsufficient information
Extraction of this speciesIntermediateNot relevantIntermediate
Extraction of other speciesTolerantTolerantNot relevant

Species used to indicate biotope recoverability

Physical factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Amphiura filiformis
Important characterizing
Pecten maximus
Important other
Substratum LossModerateModerateHigh
SmotheringImmediateVery highHigh
Increase in suspended sedimentImmediateVery highHigh
Decrease in suspended sedimentNot relevantNot relevant
DesiccationNot relevantVery highVery high
Increase in emergence regimeNot relevantVery highNot relevant
Decrease in emergence regimeNot relevantNot relevant
Increase in water flow rateModerateModerateImmediate
Decrease in water flow rateNot relevantImmediate
Increase in temperatureModerateHighHigh
Decrease in temperatureHighHigh
Increase in turbidityNot relevantVery highNot relevant
Decrease in turbidityNot relevantNot relevant
Increase in wave exposureHighModerateHigh
Decrease in wave exposureNot relevantNot relevant
NoiseImmediateImmediateNot relevant
Visual PresenceNot relevantNot relevantImmediate
Abrasion & physical disturbanceModerateVery highHigh
DisplacementImmediateImmediateNot relevant

Chemical factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Amphiura filiformis
Important characterizing
Pecten maximus
Important other
Synthetic compound contaminationInsufficient informationModerateHigh
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationHighHigh
Hydrocarbon contaminationInsufficient informationModerateHigh
Radionuclide contaminationHighInsufficient informationNot relevant
Changes in nutrient levelsHighHighHigh
Increase in salinityModerateNot relevantNot relevant
Decrease in salinityModerateModerate
Changes in oxygenationModerateVery highHigh

Biological factors

Virgularia mirabilis
Important characterizing
Amphiura filiformis
Important characterizing
Pecten maximus
Important other
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Introduction of non-native speciesNot relevantNot relevantInsufficient information
Extraction of this speciesHighNot relevantModerate
Extraction of other speciesNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant

This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. & Wilson, E. 2004. Virgularia mirabilis and Ophiura spp. on circalittoral sandy or shelly mud. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/07/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatsensitivity.php?habitatid=66&code=2004>