© 2018 Kirkmaiden Community Council
Kirkmaiden Community Council  Serving the community of Drummore, Mull of Galloway and Port Logan

Luce Bay

  

              Healthy maerl bed

             Sabellaria reef

Survey of Marine features within Luce Bay and Sands Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report 738. July 2014 http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/ commissioned_reports/738.pdf The survey discovered two species classed as ‘UK Biodiversity action Plan Priority Habitats’ www.ukmarinesac.org.uk/communities/biogenic- reefs/br4_2.htm. First ,Sabellaria reefs - formed by polycheate (many bristles) worms. The worms construct densely packed tubes (see pic) made of sand grains forming large reefs and the ones found in Luce Bay and along the northern Solway coast are the only confirmed reefs in Western Scotland. The reefs provide a habitat for many different types of flora and fauna such as seaweeds, barnacles, whelks, bivalves, other polycheates, and crustaceans. Second, Maerl Beds. Maerl is the collective name for coraline red algae which grows unattached and can form extensive beds in favourable conditions. Maerl beds belong to the the biotope SS.Smp.Mrl.. High biodiversity is one of the key characteristics of this biotope, which awards its high conservation value. Pristine live maerl beds are important for commercially important queen scallop and other invertebrates such as soft clam, urchins and star fish. The beds have been carbon dated and can live up to 5,500 years. However, maerl has no tolerance for damage and can take millenia to recover. Physical disturbance can degrade Pristine Live Maerl (PLM) into impacted dead maerl.  Maerl beds are regarded as a Priority Marine Feature in Scottish waters and are on the OSPAR list of threatened and endangeres habitats. It aks as a special nursery aea for marine species. For further information see UK Marine SAC project. httpwww.ukmarinesac.org.uk/communities/maerl/m1_ 1.htm
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WildSide Nature Reserve

Luce Bay