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SS.SCS.ICS.SSh
Sparse fauna on highly mobile sublittoral shingle (cobbles and pebbles)

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Extremely exposed, Exposed 
 Tidal streams: Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn) 
 Substratum: Shingle and/or pebbles 
 Zone: Infralittoral 
 Depth Band: 5-10 m, 10-20 m, 20-30 m, 30-50 m 
 Other Features:  

Download comparative physical and biological data. The comparative tables enable a rapid comparison of the species composition and principal physical characteristics between a given set of biotopes.
Distribution of habitat SS.SCS.ICS.SSh  Sparse fauna on highly mobile sublittoral shingle (cobbles and pebbles)
Distribution of habitat SS.SCS.ICS.SSh Sparse fauna on highly mobile sublittoral shingle (cobbles and pebbles), based on records on the UK Marine Recorder database and EUSeaMap. Red dots represent records on which the biotope is based. Blue dots show other certain records, black dots show records tentatively assigned to this biotope. Yellow areas show level 2 and 3 sublittoral and deep-sea habitats prediced by EUSeaMap within UK waters.

Biotope description

Sublittoral clean shingle and pebble habitats with a lack of conspicuous fauna. Unstable, rounded pebbles and stones (as opposed to sub-angular cobbles, which are often found lying on or embedded in other sediment) that are strongly affected by tidal steams and/or wave action can support few animals and are consequently faunally impoverished. The species composition of this biotope may be highly variable seasonally and is likely to comprise of low numbers of robust polychaetes or bivalves with occasional epibiota including echinoderms and crustacea such as Liocarcinus spp. and Pagurus spp. In more settled periods there may be colonisation by anemones such as Urticina felina and small populations of hydroids and Bryozoa.

Situation

This biotope is found in marine inlets with very strong tidal currents as well as in very wave exposed open coast environments.

Temporal variation

The faunal composition of this biotope is likely to be highly variable as a result of seasonal changes in wave and tidal energy.

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity Abundance (no.2)
Chaetopterus variopedatus R 100
Spisula elliptica P 100 4

Example photographs of biotope

No characteristic photos currently available. If you are able to provide a photograph of this biotope please contact .


Version 15.03 of the classification adds a deep-sea section to version 04.05; therefore superseding version 04.05, 97.06 and 03.02.

This online classification should be cited as:

JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed]. Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification

Information from the shallower section (up to sublittoral sediment, taken from Version 04.05) be cited as the report accompanying Version 04.05, as follows:

CONNOR, D.W., J.H. ALLEN, N.GOLDING, K.L.HOWELL, L.M. LIEBERKNECHT, K.O. NORTHEN AND J.B. REKER (2004) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 04.05. In: JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed].
Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification
ISBN 1 861 07561 8


Information from the deep-sea section (added in March 2015) should be cited as the report accompanying the deep-sea section, as follows:

PARRY, M.E.V., K.L. HOWELL, B.E. NARAYANASWAMY, B.J. BETT, D.O.B. JONES, D.J. HUGHES, N. PIECHAUD, T.D. NICKELL, H. ELLWOOD, N. ASKEW, C. JENKINS and E. MANCA (2015) A Deep-sea Section for the Marine Habitat Classification of Britain and Ireland. JNCC report 530. In: JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed].
Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification
ISSN 0963 8901