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Diverse Soft Sediment Epifauna (Biotic Group)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 527

Biotic Setting Benthic/Attached Biota
Biotic Class Faunal Bed
Biotic Subclass Soft Sediment Fauna
Biotic Group Diverse Soft Sediment Epifauna
Biotic Community Aphrodite Bed
Bryozoan/Anemone Bed (Megafauna)
Holothurian/Ophiuroid Bed
Sand Dollar/Sea Pansy/Mobile Mollusk Bed (Large Megafauna)

Definition Highly varied and diverse communities of mixed fauna that are present on the surface of soft unconsolidated substrates. Common taxa include annelids, holothurians, ophiuroids, anemones, tunicates, mollusks, sea pansies, hydroids, bryozoans, sea urchins, sponges, echiuroids, priapulids, and many others. Diverse Fine Sediment Epifauna can be further described using the Invertebrate Community Organism Size Modifiers: Meiofauna (dominants < 0.5 millimeter), Small Macrofauna (dominants > 0.5 millimeter to 2 millimeters), Large Macrofauna (dominants > 2 millimeters to 1 centimeter), Megafauna (dominants > 1 centimeter to 3 centimeters), Large Megafauna (dominants > 3 centimeters), with all measurements in the smallest dimension (e.g., width or height) and not including the length of slender lateral projections (e.g., arms or tentacles). As with all Biotic Groups, this unit may be used when Communities cannot be identified, as in "Diverse Soft Sediment Epifauna (Large Macrofauna), which provides important information despite limitations of data, e.g., video information.