Habitat: Haploops habitat

Description: The Haploops habitat is built by small crustacean amphipods living in muddy substrates. They live in small, self-built tubes that rise a few centimeters above the seafloor and these can form dense mats. Soft-bottom habitats dominated by one or several of these species are called Haploops spp. communities or habitats, depending on the density of individuals. The presence of Haploops individuals (in OSPAR region II mainly H. tubicola and H. tenuis) in such density/abundance that a structural habitat is present, can provide several functions of ecological significance (e.g. filtering, feeding ground, increased benthic primary production). The Haploops habitat is in general characterised by high alpha-diversity of macroinvertebrates (tube worms, sea urchins, brittle stars) and serve as feeding grounds for many species of fish, e.g. cod and flatfish. Such functions are undoubtedly beneficial to coastal ecosystems harbouring these habitats.

OSPAR Regions where it occurs: II

OSPAR Regions where under threat and/or in decline: II

Briefing note