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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Laminaria saccharina and Laminaria digitata on sheltered sublittoral fringe rock


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Bedrock; boulders and cobbles
Zone Sublittoral fringe
Depth Band 0-5 m, Lower shore
Other Features

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 IR.LIR.K.Lsac.Ldig <I>Laminaria saccharina</I> and <I>Laminaria digitata</I> on sheltered sublittoral fringe rock

  • 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'
  • Predicted extent of the level 3 (for sublittoral rock & deep sea) or 4 (for sublittoral sediment) habitat

Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot. Predicted habitat extent is from UKSeaMap.

Description

Sheltered bedrock and boulders in the sublittoral fringe characterised by a mixed canopy of the kelp Laminaria digitata (usually in its broad-fronded cape-form) and Laminaria saccharina - both species are generally Frequent or greater. Beneath the kelp canopy, the understorey of red seaweeds often includes Chondrus crispus, Dumontia contorta, Bonnemaisonia hamifera and Plocamium cartilagineum. The surface of the rock is usually covered with encrusting coralline algae as well as non-calcified red crusts and the tube-building polychaete Pomatoceros triqueter. The brown seaweeds Chorda filum, Ectocarpaceae and Fucus serratus can be present along with the green seaweeds Ulva lactuca and Enteromorpha intestinalis. Patches of the sponge Halichondria panicea can frequently be found in cracks and crevices. Beneath and between boulders a variety of mobile crustaceans such as Carcinus maenas, the gastropod Gibbula cineraria and the starfish Asterias rubens are common.

Situation

Where hard substrata occur on the shore, this biotope will be found below the F. serratus zone (Fser.Fser, Fser or FserX on mixed substrata). With such sheltered shores, the transition between sublittoral fringe and the true sublittoral zone may not be distinct; this biotope therefore extends into the shallow sublittoral kelp forest below (LhypLsac.Ft, Lsac.Ft or LhypCape).

Temporal variation

Unknown.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Halichondria panicea 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Pomatoceros triqueter 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Carcinus maenas 1 Rare 41-60 %
Gibbula cineraria 5 Occasional 61-80 %
Asterias rubens 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Bonnemaisonia hamifera 1 Frequent 21-40 %
Corallinaceae 6 Frequent 41-60 %
Dumontia contorta 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Chondrus crispus 4 Frequent 41-60 %
Plocamium cartilagineum 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Rhodophycota indet.(non-calc.crusts) 2 Frequent 21-40 %
Ectocarpaceae 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Chorda filum 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Laminaria digitata 19 Common 81-100 %
Laminaria saccharina 19 Frequent 81-100 %
Fucus serratus 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Enteromorpha intestinalis 2 Frequent 21-40 %
Ulva lactuca 4 Frequent 41-60 %

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
6.95 LRK.LDIG.LSAC

Photos

IR.LIR.K.Lsac.Ldig Laminaria saccharina and Laminaria digitata on sheltered sublittoral fringe rock, Devon/Cornwall?. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
IR.LIR.K.Lsac.Ldig Laminaria saccharina and Laminaria digitata on sheltered sublittoral fringe rock, Devon/Cornwall?. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
IR.LIR.K.Lsac.Ldig Laminaria saccharina and Laminaria digitata on sheltered sublittoral fringe rock, NW of Cnoc Cuil na Mine, Loch Alsh. Sue Hiscock © JNCC
IR.LIR.K.Lsac.Ldig Laminaria saccharina and Laminaria digitata on sheltered sublittoral fringe rock, NW of Cnoc Cuil na Mine, Loch Alsh. Sue Hiscock © JNCC

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