Flame Shell Beds
What is it:
These are most commonly found on mixed muddy gravel and sand in tide-swept narrows in sea lochs. They are formed by the intertwining of the byssus threads of Limaria with seaweed, maerl, shells and stones creating a unique habitat that consolidates the underlying sediments providing a surface to which other animals and plants can attach.
They are scarce in the UK: the majority of records are from west Scotland and are considered of national importance. The most extensive beds are in Loch Sunart and Loch Fyne. Large beds once found in the Firth of Clyde have declined considerably.
Links to Scotland's Marine Atlas:
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