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Gastropod Reef (Biotic Group)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 503

Biotic Setting Benthic/Attached Biota
Biotic Class Reef Biota
Biotic Subclass Mollusk Reef Biota
Biotic Group Gastropod Reef
Biotic Community Crepidula Reef
Vermetid Reef
Serpulorbis Reef

Definition Areas dominated by consolidated aggregations of living and dead gastropod mollusks, typically those of the Family Vermetidae or the Genus Crepidula. Shells in a "reef" must have consolidated or conglomerated into a reef structure with some relief and permanence; a reef is more that an accumulation of loose shells. Vermetids construct tubes that are cemented to hard substrates and to conspecifics, generally in intertidal habitats, e.g., Serpulorbis. Crepidula forms reefs through preferential settling of larvae on conspecifics (Zhao and Qian 2002) combined with very limited mobility, and sediment infilling. Crepidula reefs are generally flat features with little vertical relief.