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Larger Deep-Burrowing Fauna (Biotic Group)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 521

Biotic Setting Benthic/Attached Biota
Biotic Class Faunal Bed
Biotic Subclass Soft Sediment Fauna
Biotic Group Larger Deep-Burrowing Fauna
Biotic Community Glycera Bed
Nephtys Bed
Sipunculid Bed
Boniella Bed
Balanoglossus Bed


Description
Definition Assemblages dominated by the presence—or evidence—of larger, deep-burrowing, soft-bodied, generally worm-like infauna. Characteristic taxa include larger (body width > 2 millimeters) annelids (segmented worms), enteropneusts (acorn worms), sipunculids (peanut worms), priapulids (phallus worms), nemerteans (ribbon worms), echiuroids (spoon worms), and/or other worm-like fauna, typically living > 5 centimeters below the sediment-water interface. Diverse mixes of fauna are common, and biotic communities may or may not be identifiable with an abundant or distinctive dominant taxon. Large fecal casts, mounds, burrows, feeding voids, etc., may be taken as evidence of deep-burrowing fauna. However, areas characterized by larger, tube-building worms (that construct a significant tube structure rising above the sediment-water interface, but may live with a body position below the sediment surface) are classified as Larger Tube-Building Fauna. Burrowing fauna with shells (e.g., clams and crustaceans) are covered below in other biotic groups.