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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Palmaria palmata on very exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Very exposed, Exposed, Moderately exposed
Tidal streams
Substratum Bedrock; boulders
Zone Eulittoral - lower
Depth Band
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 LR.HLR.FR.Pal <I>Palmaria palmata</I> on very exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral 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'

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

Description

Very exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock which supports a pure stand of dulse Palmaria palmata as a dense band or in large patches above the main kelp zone. P. palmata favours shaded or overhanging rock and often forms a band at the top of overhanging rock. Relatively low abundance of other seaweeds, such as the red seaweed Porphyra umbilicalis or the green seaweeds Enteromorpha intestinalis, Ulva lactuca and Cladophora rupestris may also occur in this biotope although P. palmata always dominates. On the rock underneath the seaweed turf are the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides and the limpet Patella vulgata and the olive-green lichen Verrucaria mucosa.. Sites should only be recorded as Pal where P. palmata forms a distinct band or occurs in large patches on the shore.

Situation

This biotope is found below the biotopes dominated by the P. vulgata, S. balanoides, the wrack Fucus distichus or E. intestinalis (Sem; Fdis; Ent). It is found above biotopes dominated by the kelp Alaria esculenta and Laminaria digitata (Ala.Ldig; Ldig.Ldig).

Temporal variation

It is likely that the P. palmata biotope represents an opportunistic assemblage of fast-growing species which occupy gaps within or between the canopies of long lived perennials such as the wrack Fucus serratus.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Semibalanus balanoides 14 Frequent 81-100 %
Patella vulgata 15 Frequent 81-100 %
Porphyra umbilicalis 6 Occasional 61-80 %
Palmaria palmata 37 Abundant 81-100 %
Enteromorpha intestinalis 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Ulva lactuca 6 Occasional 61-80 %
Cladophora rupestris 8 Occasional 61-80 %
Verrucaria mucosa 4 Rare 61-80 %

Similar biotopes

LR.HLR.MusB.MytB
Occurs on exposed shores where P. palmata often forms a luxurious growth on M. edulis on exposed shores in which case it should be recorded as MytB. P. palmata is a common component of adjacent biotopes.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
6.95 LRK.RED.PAL
96.7 MLR.R.Pal

Photos

LR.HLR.FR.Pal Palmaria palmata on very exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock, Shore N of Old Man of Hoy, NW Hoy. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.HLR.FR.Pal Palmaria palmata on very exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock, Shore N of Old Man of Hoy, NW Hoy. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.HLR.FR.Pal Palmaria palmata on very exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock, Headagee, Newbiggin. Paul Brazier © JNCC
LR.HLR.FR.Pal Palmaria palmata on very exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock, Headagee, Newbiggin. Paul Brazier © JNCC

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