Site details

PLYMOUTH SOUND AND ESTUARIES
(lookup in gazetteer)
Flag of United kingdom
United kingdom
Conservation
status
5 stars - Fully protected as a national park or Natura 2000 site by national legislation
LTBR Focal Site



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Plymouth Sound, City and Tamar estuary. Photo: K Hiscock

Synoptic description of site:

Plymouth Sound is a large shallow bay which falls away to deeper water at 30 m. To the north and east are estuaries exhibiting representative salinity gradient effects on sediment and rock.

Extensive description of site:

Plymouth Sound, in South Devon, England, is a large shallow bay which falls away to deeper water at 30 m. To the north and east are estuaries exhibiting representative salinity gradient effects on sediment and rock.

Habitats present:
 MudSandRock
Littoral XX
SublittoralXXX
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

The fauna and flora are exceptionally well documented, and have been researched since the laboratory of the Marine Biological Association was opened in 1888.

Human impact:

The area is subjected to moderate levels of pollution from the large conurbation of Plymouth (pop. 254,000) and naval dockyards, and is quite heavily fished. The coastal waters are relatively turbid due to outflows from muddy estuaries.

Facilities:

All facilities for marine biodiversity research are available, from seagoing research vessels, fully equipped laboratories and the National Marine Biological Library.

Available database and website:

The species inventory (‘Plymouth Marine Fauna’) is very comprehensive, and is available both as hard copy and on-line. All the main research organisations have their own websites.

Datasets covering this area:

Links:

Commitment and ongoing research:

The Marine Biological Association (including the Marine Life Information network for Britain and Ireland, MarLIN), Sir Alistair Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Plymouth University (UoP) and the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) are all based in Plymouth and undertake biodiversity-related research in the area.

Involvements:
Additional Information:

Description of the area in Hiscock (1998) sent separately