Gilkicker Lagoon SSSI - GICKICKER LAGOON (001)
Staff member responsible: KENNETH JOHNSTONE
Unit Id: 1007229
Unit area (ha): 4.0656
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SZ 608 977
Main habitat: INSHORE SUBLITTORAL SEDIMENT - CL
Condition and Comments (click for history): Favourable Assessed by: STEVEN, (GRAHAM)
Last assessed: 07/12/2010 Last assessment field visit: 07/12/2010
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of last site check: Last CSM assessment: 07/12/2010
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Comment: Gilkicker Lagoon is two interconnected basins. A significant change in the composition of one of the basins is evident but overall, this remains a very important site of high conservation value supporting strong populations of rare specialist lagoon species. This is a high-salinity system, supporting a diverse community with eight animal and two plant lagoon specialists including the rare Nematostella vectensis and Gammarus insensibilis. The north basin has beds of the lagoon plant Ruppia and floating mats of Chaetomorpha linum and a diverse fauna. The south basin formerly had abundant Ruppia and Zostera noltii, as well as the rare foxtail stonewort Lamprothamnium papulosum. It currently has little submerged vegetation and as a result has an impoverished fauna. The reason is not clear but there are no apparent adverse influences affecting the site at present. The benthic community of the north basin is dominated by lagoon specialists, including Nematostella vectensis, Corophium insidiosum and the lagoon cockle Cerastoderma glaucum. Other lagoon specialists are the small snail Ventrosia ventrosa, and the isopods Lekanesphaera hookeri and Idotea chelipes. The nationally rare mollusc Haminoea navicula, a species which favours saline lagoons is also present. The character of the south basin is quite different. There are small amounts of Ruppia and Corophium insidiosum is common but only on the east side. Nematostella vectensis, Cerastoderma glaucum and Idotea chelipes are present at low densities, and neither Lekanesphaera hookeri nor Ventrosia ventrosa were found. Conversely, there is a greater prominence of estuarine species including ragworm Hediste diversicolor. The North American ostracod Eusarsiella zostericola is also present, unusual in a lagoon. The configuration of the two basins is stable and the sluice in the south basin appears fully functional. The survey was undertaken by specialist contractor commissioned by Natural England.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 0
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