AB.J3L7 Baltic aphotic sand dominated by striped venus (Chamelea gallina)


HELCOM RED LIST Biotope Expert Team

Textual description 

Baltic aphotic 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 bivalves dominates and is highest in the group that includes infaunal bivalves/polychaetes/crustaceans/echinoderms/insect larvae. Out of the infaunal bivalves, Chamelea gallina constitutes at least 50 % of the biomass.

Characteristic species        

Chamelea gallina

Quality descriptors

Diversity, abundance and biomass of fauna.

Geographic range

Known from German waters

Correspondence with other classification systems               

HELCOM 1998:

2.5 Sandy bottoms

2.5.1 Aphotic zone

EUNIS 2012:

A5 Sublittoral sediment

A5.2 Sublittoral sand

A5.27 Deep circalittoral sand

A5.273 Baltic sandy bottoms of the aphotic zone




This biotope has been listed as Not THreatened (NT​) in the HELCOM Red List of Baltic Sea biotopes and habitats.

See the Biotope Information Sheet of AB.J3L7