Littoral Mytilus edulis beds
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.
1997a) and a review undertaken for the UK Marine SACs Project (Holt et al. 1998).
|Europe (EUNIS Nov. 1999)
||Mussel beds on sheltered littoral mixed substrata
||Eulittoral (old) blue mussel beds
|Britain/Ireland (MNCR BioMar 97.06)
||Mytilus edulis beds on eulittoral mixed substrata
||Moulière médiolittorale à Mytilus sp.
Sheltered to very sheltered mid and lower eulittoral mixed substrata (mainly cobbles
and pebbles on muddy sediments) with dense aggregations of the mussel Mytilus edulis.
In high densities the mussels bind the substratum and provide a habitat for many species
more commonly found on rocky shores. Fucus vesiculosus is often found attached to
either the mussels or the cobbles and it frequently occurs at high abundance. The mussels
are usually encrusted with the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides (and/ or Elminius
modestus in areas of reduced salinity). Littorina littorea and small Carcinus
maenas are common amongst the mussels, whilst areas of sediment may contain Arenicola
marina, Lanice conchilega, Cerastoderma edule and other infaunal
species. In contrast with the mussel beds found on rocky shores (MLR.MF) this biotope
contains few limpets or red algae. This biotope is also found in lower shore tide-swept
areas, such as in the tidal narrows of Scottish sealochs.
(from MNCR database in February 1999)
Species composition and biodiversity
Sensitivity to human activities
Conservation and protection status