Infralittoral gravels and sands



GB distribution

Compiled by: Leigh Jones, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Monkstone House, City Road, Peterborough PE1 IJY, UK.

Derived, in part, from: the UK marine biotope classification (Connor et al. 1997b) and a review undertaken for the UK Marine SACs Project (Elliott et al. 1998).


Classification Code Biotope(s)
Europe (EUNIS Nov. 1999) A4.1 Sublittoral mobile cobbles, gravels and coarse sands
Wadden Sea 03.02.03 Benthic zone of the shallow coastal waters, coarse sand, gravel /shells bottoms, few macrophytes
Britain/Ireland (MNCR BioMar 97.06) IGS Infralittoral gravels and sands
France (ZNIEFF-MER) III.5.2.1


Faciès des sables grossiers hétérogènes à Lanice conchilega

Biocénose des sables grossiers et fins graviers brassés par les vagues (SGBV)


Gravel and sand habitats in the infralittoral zone, extending from the extreme lower shore into the shallow sublittoral. This habitat may support seaweed communities or, more commonly, be characterised by animal communities, which are influenced by a high degree of disturbance from wave action or strong tidal currents. Although supporting a wide range of species, these habitats typically include fairly robust infaunal species of amphipods, bivalves and polychaetes.

Note: Maerl beds are considered as a separate habitat review.

GB distribution

(from MNCR database in February 1999)











Habitat requirements

Species composition and biodiversity

Ecological relationships

Sensitivity to human activities

Conservation and protection status