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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Lithothamnion corallioides maerl beds on infralittoral muddy gravel


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Sheltered, Very sheltered
Tidal streams Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Muddy maerl gravel
Zone Infralittoral
Depth Band 0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 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.SMp.Mrl.Lcor <I>Lithothamnion corallioides</I> maerl beds on infralittoral muddy gravel

  • 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

Live maerl beds in sheltered, silty conditions which are dominated by Lithothamnion corallioides with a variety of foliose and filamentous seaweeds. Live maerl is at least common but there may be noticeable amounts of dead maerl gravel and pebbles. Other species of maerl, such as Phymatolithon calcareum and Phymatolithon purpureum, may also occur as a less abundant component. Species of seaweed such as Dictyota dichotoma, Halarachnion ligulatum. and Ulva spp. are often present, although are not restricted to this biotope, whereas Dudresnaya verticillata tends not to occur on other types of maerl beds. The anemones Anemonia viridis and Cerianthus lloydii, the polychaetes Notomastus latericeus and Caulleriella alata, the isopod Janira maculosa and the bivalve Hiatella arctica are typically found in SMP.Lcor where as Echinus esculentus tends to occur more in other types of maerl. The seaweeds Laminaria saccharina and Chorda filum may also be present in some habitats. Lcor has a south-western distribution in Britain and Ireland. Sheltered, stable, fully saline maerl beds in the north of Great Britain (where L. corallioides has not been confirmed to occur) may need to be described as an analogous biotope to Lcor (see Pcal).

Situation

No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Cerianthus lloydii 4 Frequent 41-60 %
Anemonia viridis 4 Occasional 41-60 %
Nematoda 11 81-100 %
Pisione remota 2 21-40 %
Harmothoe impar 2 61-80 %
Pholoe inornata 2 21-40 %
Glycera lapidum 5 61-80 %
Kefersteinia cirrata 5 61-80 %
Sphaerosyllis bulbosa 5 61-80 %
Lumbrineris gracilis 5 61-80 %
Protodorvillea kefersteini 2 61-80 %
Aonides paucibranchiata 2 61-80 %
Caulleriella alata 6 61-80 %
Mediomastus fragilis 12 81-100 %
Notomastus latericeus 6 81-100 %
Terebellidae 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Lanice conchilega 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Pista cristata 2 61-80 %
Nannonyx goesii 2 61-80 %
Microdeutopus versiculatus 2 61-80 %
Caprella acanthifera 2 61-80 %
Janira maculosa 6 81-100 %
Pagurus bernhardus 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Liocarcinus corrugatus 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Liocarcinus depurator 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Polyplacophora 5 61-80 %
Gibbula magus 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Pecten maximus 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Mysella bidentata 2 61-80 %
Parvicardium scabrum 2 61-80 %
Gari tellinella 5 61-80 %
Hiatella arctica 6 81-100 %
Asterias rubens 6 Frequent 61-80 %
Marthasterias glacialis 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Amphipholis squamata 3 61-80 %
Lithothamnion corallioides 28 Abundant 81-100 %
Phymatolithon calcareum 2 Common 21-40 %
Dudresnaya verticillata 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Halarachnion ligulatum 4 Frequent 41-60 %
Dictyota dichotoma 5 Common 41-60 %
Chorda filum 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Laminaria saccharina 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Ulva 2 Frequent 41-60 %

Similar biotopes

SS.SMp.Mrl.Pcal.R
Pcal.R occurs in less stable environments

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
97.06 IMX.Lcor

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