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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Fucoids and kelp in deep eulittoral rockpools


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Exposed, Moderately exposed
Tidal streams
Substratum Bedrock
Zone Eulittoral - lower, Eulittoral - mid
Depth Band Lower shore, Mid shore
Other Features Deep rockpool with fucoids and kelp

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.FK Fucoids and kelp in deep eulittoral 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

Deep or larger rockpools in the mid to lower eulittoral zone on exposed to moderately exposed shores characterised by the wrack Fucus serratus and the kelp Laminaria digitata and the red seaweed Corallina officinalis while encrusting coralline algae cover the rock surface. Other large brown seaweeds, including the kelp Laminaria saccharina and Halidrys siliquosa may also occur. A wide variety of filamentous and foliose seaweeds occur beneath the brown algal canopy. The species includes the red seaweeds Palmaria palmata, Chondrus crispus, Mastocarpus stellatus, Ceramium nodulosum and Dumontia contorta, but green seaweeds such as Enteromorpha intestinalis, Ulva lactuca and Cladophora rupestris can be present as well. Algal-free vertical and overhanging faces often support the sponge Halichondria panicea and anemones including Actinia equina and Urticina felina. Grazing molluscs including the limpet Patella vulgata, the top shell Gibbula cineraria and the winkle Littorina littorea are present on the rock surface while the mussel Mytilus edulis can be found in cracks and crevices. The whelk Nucella lapillus can be found preying on the mussels. Where boulders occur in these pools they provide a greater variety of micro-habitats which support a variety of fauna. Mobile crustaceans including the crabs Pagurus bernhardus and Carcinus maenas, brittlestars such as Ophiothrix fragilis and Amphipholis squamata, encrusting bryozoans and ascidians are typically found beneath and between boulders.

Situation

Rockpools throughout the eulittoral zone in bedrock on exposed and moderately exposed shores.

Temporal variation

The abundance of grazing molluscs can vary considerably both spatially and temporally, resulting in fluctuations in algal diversity and abundance.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Halichondria panicea 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Actinia equina 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Gibbula cineraria 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Patella vulgata 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Littorina littorea 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Nucella lapillus 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Mytilus edulis 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Palmaria palmata 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Corallinaceae 13 Abundant 61-80 %
Corallina officinalis 15 Common 81-100 %
Dumontia contorta 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Chondrus crispus 4 Occasional 41-60 %
Mastocarpus stellatus 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Ceramium nodulosum 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Laminaria digitata 8 Occasional 61-80 %
Laminaria saccharina 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Halidrys siliquosa 2 Frequent 21-40 %
Fucus serratus 5 Frequent 41-60 %
Ulva lactuca 4 Occasional 41-60 %
Cladophora 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Cladophora rupestris 1 Occasional 21-40 %

Similar biotopes

LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor
The variants of the Cor biotope do not have the same presence of large brown seaweeds and they occur across a broader range of wave exposure.

LR.FLR.Rkp.FK.Sar
Similar type of rockpool with similar species richness and species composition though the brown seaweed Sargassum muticum dominates instead of F. serratus. Ulva lactuca occursat a high abundance (Common).

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
6.95 LRK.FK.BEP
96.7 RKP.FK.Bed
96.7 RKP.FK.Bo in part

Photos

LR.FLR.RKP.FK Fucoids and kelp in deep eulittoral rockpools, Longhouton Steel, Boulmer. Jon Davies © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.FK Fucoids and kelp in deep eulittoral rockpools, Longhouton Steel, Boulmer. Jon Davies © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.FK Fucoids and kelp in deep eulittoral rockpools, Longhouton Steel, Boulmer. Jon Davies © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.FK Fucoids and kelp in deep eulittoral rockpools, Longhouton Steel, Boulmer. Jon Davies © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.FK Fucoids and kelp in deep eulittoral rockpools, Chapel Point, Mevagissey. Rohan Holt © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.FK Fucoids and kelp in deep eulittoral rockpools, Chapel Point, Mevagissey. Rohan Holt © JNCC

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