Skip to Content

Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

To understand more about what this page is describing, see How to use the classification. See also How to cite.

   Green seaweeds (Enteromorpha spp. and Cladophora spp.) in shallow upper shore rockpools


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Very exposed, Exposed, Moderately exposed, Sheltered
Tidal streams
Substratum Bedrock
Zone Eulittoral - upper, Littoral fringe
Depth Band Upper shore
Other Features Rockpool

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.FLR.Rkp.G Green seaweeds (<I>Enteromorpha</I> spp. and <I>Cladophora</I> spp.) in shallow upper shore rockpools

  • 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

Rockpools in the littoral fringe or upper eulittoral zone subject to widely fluctuating temperatures and salinity are characterised by ephemeral green alga of the genus Enteromorpha, along with Cladophora spp. and Ulva lactuca. Due to the physical stress imposed on these upper shore pools, grazing molluscs such as the limpet Patella vulgata and the winkles Littorina littorea and Littorina saxatilis are generally in lower abundance than eulittoral pools, allowing the green seaweeds to proliferate under reduced grazing pressures. The bright orange copepod Tigriopus fulvus is tolerant of large salinity fluctuations and may occur in large numbers in these upper shore pools, along with gammarid amphipods.

Situation

Rockpools throughout the upper eulittoral and lower littoral fringe in bedrock.

Temporal variation

Fluctuations especially in the abundance of the green seaweeds will occur due to marked changes in salinity and temperature during the year. Enteromorpha intestinalis can often be bleached during the summer.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Patella vulgata 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Littorina littorea 4 Frequent 21-40 %
Littorina saxatilis 3 Occasional 21-40 %
Enteromorpha intestinalis 77 Abundant 61-80 %
Cladophora rupestris 5 Frequent 21-40 %

Similar biotopes

LR.FLR.Eph.Ent
Occurs on very exposed to very sheltered shores from the supralittoral to the upper eulittoral zone. This biotope does not includes rockpools. It has a similar species composition.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
95.6 LRK.CHL
96.7 RKP.G

Photos

LR.FLR.RKP.G Green seaweeds (Enteromorpha spp. and Cladophora spp.) in shallow upper shore rockpools, Saltpan Rocks, Farnes. Dale Cartlidge © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.G Green seaweeds (Enteromorpha spp. and Cladophora spp.) in shallow upper shore rockpools, Saltpan Rocks, Farnes. Dale Cartlidge © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.G Green seaweeds (Enteromorpha spp. and Cladophora spp.) in shallow upper shore rockpools, Oxwich. ANON © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.G Green seaweeds (Enteromorpha spp. and Cladophora spp.) in shallow upper shore rockpools, Oxwich. ANON © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.G Green seaweeds (Enteromorpha spp. and Cladophora spp.) in shallow upper shore rockpools, Orkney?. ANON © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.G Green seaweeds (Enteromorpha spp. and Cladophora spp.) in shallow upper shore rockpools, Orkney?. ANON © JNCC

Back to top