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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Lophelia reefs


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn)
Substratum Fine silt, rock and other hard substrata
Zone Circalittoral - lower
Depth Band 100-200 m, 50-100 m
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 SS.SBR.Crl.Lop <I>Lophelia</I> reefs

  • 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

Reefs of the coral Lophelia pertusa, typically supporting a range of other biota. Lophelia reefs are generally found in areas of elevated current. The coral provides a 3 dimensional structure and a variety of microhabitats that provide shelter and a surface of attachment for other species. Boring sponges, anemones, bryozoans, gorgonians including Paragorgia arborea, Paramuricea placomus, Primnoa resedaeformis, polychaetes, barnacles, squat lobsters (Munida sarsi) and bivalves have all been recorded within and among the corals (Wilson, 1979; Mortensen et al., 1995) Other hard corals such as Madrepora oculata and Solenosmilia variabilis may also be present. Mobile species present include the redfish (Sebastes viviparous and Sebastes marinus), Ling (Molva molva) and tusk (Brosme brosme) (Husebo et al., 2002).

Situation

In British waters Lophelia reefs have been found on fine silt sediment and rock on the continental slope, on rock on the continental shelf, and on other hard structures such as the legs of oil platforms.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

Characterising Species

Taxon Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Lophelia pertusa Abundant 81-100 %

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
97.06 COR.Lop

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