Characteristic and associated species
The most important features of the functioning of sand and mudflats and subtidal
sandbanks is the abundance and biomass of a restricted set of species; the presence of
internationally or nationally rare species is of less relevance here (see Chapter VIII).
The species composition differs with substrata and other environmental variables and in
shallow inshore areas subtidal sandbanks may be similar to intertidal sandflats (Willems et
al, 1982; Atkins, 1983). The presence of any species in an area is dependent on its
tolerance to those environmental variables such that considerable spatial and temporal
variation occurs within estuarine and coastal sedimentary areas. As an example, the
typical fauna that may be found in intertidal areas along a gradient of particle size is
given in the linked figure.
Intertidal Biotope Complexes