AA.J3N3 Baltic photic sand dominated by sand digger shrimp (Bathyporeia pilosa)


HELCOM RED LIST Biotope Expert Team

Textual description 

Baltic photic zone bottoms with at least 90 % coverage of sand. Sand has less than 20 % of mud/silt/clay fraction (<63 µm), and the proportion of sand (grain size 0.063–2 mm) exceeds 70% of the combined gravel and sand fraction. Biomass of infaunal crustaceans dominates and is highest in the group that includes infaunal bivalves/polychaetes/crustaceans/echinoderms/insect larvae. Out of the infaunal crustacean, Bathyporeia pilosa constitutes at least 50 % of the biomass

Physical environment       

Substrate is sand. Depth is typically from 1 to 10 meters, Appears in areas of moderate to high wave exposure. Salinity >4 psu.

Characteristic species        

Bathyporeia pilosa, Oligochaeta, Haustorius arenarius, Cyathura carinata, Hediste diversicolor

Quality descriptors

Diversity, abundance and biomass of fauna.

Correspondence with other classification systems               

HELCOM 1998:

2.5 Sandy bottoms

2.5.2 Sublittoral photic zone Level bottoms with little or no macrophyte


EUNIS 2012:

A5 Sublittoral sediment

A5.2 Sublittoral sand

A5.21 Sublittoral sand in low or reduced salinity

A5.211 Baltic level sandy bottoms of the infralittoral photic zone with little or no macrophyte vegetation