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 (Elliott et al.
|Europe (EUNIS Nov. 1999)
||Mud flats, free of vegetation
|Britain/Ireland (MNCR BioMar 97.06)
Shores of predominately fine particulate sediment with a particle size less than 0.063
mm in diameter that typically forms extensive mudflats. Dry compacted mud can form steep
and even vertical structures, particularly at the top of the shore adjacent to
saltmarshes. Also included in this suite of biotopes are sandy muds, which have between
20% and 70% sand. Small amounts of gravel or pebbles may be found within the mud, having
little effect upon the structure of the associated communities. Littoral muds support
infaunal communities characterised by polychaetes, certain bivalves and oligochaetes. The
majority of littoral muds are under variable or reduced-salinity conditions in coastal
inlets. The ragworm Hediste diversicolor, the Baltic tellin Macoma
balthica and the furrow shell Scrobicularia plana are conspicuous members of
muddy freshwater-influenced shore communities. Fully marine littoral muds typically have a
richer infauna of polychaetes and bivalves.
Saltmarshes (LMU.Sm) are not considered here.
(from MNCR database in February 1999)
Species composition and biodiversity
Sensitivity to human activities
Conservation and protection status