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

Subtidal Biotope Complex