AB.E3Y Baltic aphotic shell gravel characterized by mixed infaunal macrocommunity in fine sand-like shell fragments


HELCOM RED LIST Biotope Expert Team

Textual description            

Baltic aphotic bottoms with at least 90 % coverage of shell gravel. Macroscopic infauna present, no epibenthic macrofauna. Shell gravel is fine, sand-like.

Physical environment       

Substrate is shell gravel. Depth below approximately 20 m

Mapping advise (habitat delineation, identification, similar types)             

Only for biotopesoccuring in Kattegat andthe most southern parts ofthe Baltic Sea (Mytilus shell gravelin Northern Baltic Sea, shouldbe classified AB.E1E1)

Geographic range               

Southern part of Baltic Sea

Anthropogenic threats     

Increase in atmospheric CO2 (Ocean acidification)

Correspondence with other classification systems               

HELCOM 1998:

2.6 Shell gravel bottoms

2.6.1 Aphotic zone

HELCOM 2007:

Shell gravel bottoms

  • habitat under threat and/or in decline in all areas of occurrence : The Southern Baltic Proper, The Gulf of Gdansk, Bay of Mecklenburg, Kiel Bay, Little Belt, Great Belt, The Sound, Kattegat

EUNIS 2012:

A5 Sublittoral sediment

A5.1 Sublittoral coarse sediment

A5.11 Infralittoral coarse sediment in low or reduced salinity

A5.115Baltic shell gravel bottoms of the aphotic zone

 Related information

This biotope has been listed as Near Threatened (NT) in the HELCOM Red List of Baltic Sea biotopes and habitats.

See the Biotope Information Sheet of AB.E3Y