Mud Habitats in Deep Water

Mud habitats in deep water occur below 20-30 metres in many areas of the UK’s marine environment. The relatively stable conditions at these depths often lead to establishment of communities of burrowing species, and deeper water species may be found alongside coastal species.

mud habitat in deep water

Photo: Paul Naylor/Sussex Wildlife Trust

Why are they important?

  • The soft mud communities that form in sheltered, deep conditions can support rare species of sea squirts and seapens.

Mud Habitats in Deep Water in Sussex

Areas of deep water mud habitats are known off the coast of East Sussex.

What are the threats?

  • Fishing, including seabed trawling and potting can cause disturbance to the seabed and disrupt communities composition by removing species such as crustaceans
  • Pollution and nutrient enrichment can lead to changes in the structure and composition of deep mud communities
  • Anchoring can cause physical damage to species with little or no mobility

Some associated species

  • John Dory Zeus faber
  • Thornback Ray Raja clavata
  • a burrowing mud shrimp Callianassa subterranes
  • Common Cockle Cerastoderma edule

Thornback Ray

Photo: Paul Naylor/Sussex Wildlife Trust

Links to more information

The Marine Life Information Network