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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered
Tidal streams Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Pebbles and cobbles on sand/mud
Zone Eulittoral
Depth Band
Other Features Silt and/or variable salinity

Download comparative physical and biological data. The comparative tables enable a rapid comparison of the species composition and principal physical characteristics between a given set of biotopes.

Distribution of habitat LR.LLR.F.Fves.X <I>Fucus vesiculosus</I> on mid eulittoral mixed substrata

  • Records used to define the biotope (core records)
  • Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'certain'
  • Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'uncertain'

Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot.

Description

Sheltered and very sheltered mid eulittoral pebbles and cobbles lying on sediment in fully marine conditions typically characterised by the wrack Fucus vesiculosus. The wrack Ascophyllum nodosum can occasionally be found on larger boulders while the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides and the limpet Patella vulgata also can be present on the cobbles with the whelk Nucella lapillus preying on the barnacles and on the mussel Mytilus edulis. Winkles, particularly Littorina littorea and Littorina obtusata, commonly graze the biofilm on the seaweeds, while Littorina saxatilis can be found in crevices. Ephemeral seaweeds such as Enteromorpha intestinalis may be present in this biotope. The sediment between patches of hard substrata often contains the polychaete Arenicola marina or the polychaete Lanice conchilega, while a variety of gastropods and the crab Carcinus maenas occur on and under cobbles.

Situation

Fves.X can be found below the biotope dominated by the wrack Fucus spiralis (Fspi.X) or a community dominated by S. balanoides, P. vulgata and L. littorea (BLitX). It is found above a community dominated by M. edulis beds (Myt.Myt) or the wrack Fucus serratus (Fserr.X).

Temporal variation

Some variation in the ephemeral seaweeds and their abundance depending on season is likely.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Semibalanus balanoides 7 Frequent 41-60 %
Carcinus maenas 3 Occasional 21-40 %
Littorina obtusata/mariae 1 Frequent 21-40 %
Patella vulgata 5 Frequent 41-60 %
Littorina littorea 3 Frequent 81-100 %
Littorina saxatilis 18 Frequent 21-40 %
Nucella lapillus 5 Occasional 41-60 %
Mytilus edulis 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Ascophyllum nodosum 3 Occasional 21-40 %
Fucus vesiculosus 36 Common 81-100 %
Enteromorpha intestinalis 4 Occasional 41-60 %

Similar biotopes

LR.LLR.F.Fves.FS
Occurs on bedrock, but otherwise similar physical conditions. Similar species composition, but the F. vesiculosus canopy is more dense due to more stable substrata.

LR.LLR.FVS.FvesVS
Occurs on similar substrata, but in variable salinity conditions. Similar species composition though lower species richness. P. vulgata and L. saxatilis. are notably absent.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
6.95 LMXD.FVES
97.06 SLR.FvesX

Photos

LR.LLR.F.Fves.X Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata, Unspecified location. ANON © JNCC
LR.LLR.F.Fves.X Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata, Unspecified location. ANON © JNCC
LR.LLR.F.Fves.X Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata, Inner bay shore, Loch Ailort. Christine Howson © JNCC
LR.LLR.F.Fves.X Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata, Inner bay shore, Loch Ailort. Christine Howson © JNCC
LR.LLR.F.Fves.X Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata, White Sands, Torness. Eleanor Murray © JNCC
LR.LLR.F.Fves.X Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata, White Sands, Torness. Eleanor Murray © JNCC

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