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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Corallina officinalis and Mastocarpus stellatus on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Exposed, Moderately exposed
Tidal streams
Substratum Bedrock
Zone Eulittoral - lower
Depth Band 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 LR.HLR.FR.Coff.Coff <I>Corallina officinalis</I> and <I>Mastocarpus stellatus</I> on 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

Exposed lower eulittoral rock or moderately exposed lower eulittoral vertical rock that supports a dense turf of the red seaweed Corallina officinalis, often on wave surged rocky slopes. There is usually a low abundance of other turf-forming red seaweeds such as Lomentaria articulata, Mastocarpus stellatus, Palmaria palmata and Osmundea pinnatifida. Other seaweeds that occur in low abundance includes the wrack Himanthalia elongata and the kelp Laminaria digitata, while the brown seaweed Leathesia difformis can be found growing on and around the other seaweeds. Green seaweeds such as Enteromorpha intestinalis, Ulva lactuca and Cladophora rupestris are also present. The coralline turf creates a micro-habitat for small animals such as the colonial tube building polychaete Pomatoceros sp. and the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides. The mussel Mytilus edulis is often found in small cracks and crevices while the sponges Halichondria panicea and Hymeniacidon perleve can be found in shaded areas or on overhangs. The limpets Patella ulyssiponensis and Patella vulgata can be found on the bedrock underneath the turf. The brown seaweed Bifurcaria bifurcata and the barnacle Balanus perforatus may occur in the extreme south-west.

Situation

This community usually forms a distinct band just above the kelp zone (Ala, Ala.Ldig or Ldig). It can be found below the barnacle and P. vulgata dominated biotopes (Cht; Sem.Sem; Sem.FvesR).

Temporal variation

If there is many of the characteristic H. elongata buttons present in early spring careful comparison with the Him biotope should be made (See Similar biotopes).

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 41-60 %
Hymeniacidon perleve 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Pomatoceros 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Semibalanus balanoides 11 Common 61-80 %
Patella ulyssiponensis 2 Common 41-60 %
Patella vulgata 7 Common 61-80 %
Mytilus edulis 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Palmaria palmata 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Corallinaceae 8 Common 61-80 %
Corallina officinalis 17 Abundant 81-100 %
Mastocarpus stellatus 13 Common 81-100 %
Lomentaria articulata 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Osmundea pinnatifida 5 Frequent 61-80 %
Leathesia difformis 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Laminaria digitata 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Himanthalia elongata 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Enteromorpha intestinalis 4 Occasional 61-80 %
Ulva lactuca 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Cladophora rupestris 1 Occasional 21-40 %

Similar biotopes

LR.HLR.FR.Coff.Puly
Occurs on exposed to very exposed coasts, but otherwise similar physical conditions. The limpet Patella ulyssiponensis is present and sponges such as Grantia compressa and H. perleve are also present. The barnacles Chthamalus stellatus and Balanus perforatus are present though C. officinalis occur at high abundance (Common). H. elongata can dominate this biotope (Abundant).

LR.HLR.FR.Him
Occurs in similar physical conditions. H. elongata is always present in high abundance (Common) either as buttons (early spring) or with long erect fronds (summer), while C. officinalis is not dominating (Frequent). H. perleve are usually absent.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
97.06 ELR.Coff
6.95 LRK.RED.COR

Photos

LR.HLR.FR.Coff.Coff Corallina officinalis and Mastocarpus stellatus on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock, Wembury. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.HLR.FR.Coff.Coff Corallina officinalis and Mastocarpus stellatus on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock, Wembury. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.HLR.FR.Coff.Coff Corallina officinalis and Mastocarpus stellatus on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock, South of Trevarnon Beach, Newquay. Paul Brazier © JNCC
LR.HLR.FR.Coff.Coff Corallina officinalis and Mastocarpus stellatus on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock, South of Trevarnon Beach, Newquay. Paul Brazier © JNCC

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