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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Laminaria hyperborea park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral rock


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Very exposed, Exposed
Tidal streams Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn)
Substratum Bedrock; large boulders
Zone Infralittoral - lower
Depth Band 10-20 m, 20-30 m, 30-50 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 IR.HIR.KFaR.LhypR.Pk Laminaria hyperborea park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral 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

Very exposed to exposed lower infralittoral bedrock or large boulders characterised by a kelp park of Laminaria hyperborea with a dense turf of foliose red seaweeds and encrusting coralline algae. These red seaweeds dominate kelp stipes and bedrock in a similar abundance and composition to the upper infralittoral kelp forest, the most commonly occurring species being Callophyllis laciniata, Cryptopleura ramosa, Plocamium cartilagineum, Kallymenia reniformis, Delesseria sanguinea, Phycodrys rubens, Hypoglossum hypoglossoides, Heterosiphonia plumosa and Bonnemaisonia asparagoides. In addition, moderate to high abundance of foliose brown seaweeds, such as Dictyota dichotoma are more common than in the kelp forest above. More upper circalittoral fauna occur in the park than in the kelp forest, such as the cup-coral Caryophyllia smithii. Some species more often present in the kelp park than the forest include the anthozoan Alcyonium digitatum and the featherstar Antedon bifida. The urchin Echinus esculentus, the gastropods Gibbula cineraria and Calliostoma zizyphinum and the starfish Asterias rubens are normally present underneath the canopy along with the anthozoans Urticina felina and Corynactis viridis. The sponge Cliona celata is also present often found boring into shells or soft rock where available. The bryozoan Membranipora membranacea can be found on the L. hyperborea fronds along with the hydroid Obelia geniculata and the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri. The polychaete Pomatoceros sp. is present on the rock surface.

Situation

This biotope usually occurs below the exposed kelp forests (LhypFa and LhypR.Ft). At some sites, a dense band of D. dichotoma may form a separate zone below (FoR). Where seasonally unstable cobbles and/or boulders are present adjacent to and/or below the bedrock supporting the L. hyperborea LsacSac may occur.

Temporal variation

In the late summer both the kelp and the foliose seaweeds can become heavily encrusted with the bryozoan crusts Electra pilosa and Membranipora membranacea. Temporal variation within the community structure is unknown.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Cliona celata 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Obelia geniculata 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Alcyonium digitatum 4 Occasional 61-80 %
Urticina felina 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Corynactis viridis 4 Frequent 41-60 %
Caryophyllia smithii 3 Occasional 61-80 %
Pomatoceros triqueter 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Gibbula cineraria 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Calliostoma zizyphinum 3 Occasional 61-80 %
Membranipora membranacea 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Antedon bifida 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Asterias rubens 4 Occasional 61-80 %
Echinus esculentus 4 Frequent 61-80 %
Botryllus schlosseri 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Bonnemaisonia asparagoides 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Corallinaceae 5 Frequent 61-80 %
Callophyllis laciniata 3 Frequent 61-80 %
Kallymenia reniformis 2 Occasional 61-80 %
Plocamium cartilagineum 3 Occasional 61-80 %
Heterosiphonia plumosa 1 Frequent 41-60 %
Acrosorium venulosum 1 Frequent 41-60 %
Cryptopleura ramosa 4 Frequent 61-80 %
Delesseria sanguinea 6 Frequent 81-100 %
Hypoglossum hypoglossoides 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Phycodrys rubens 1 Frequent 41-60 %
Dictyota dichotoma 5 Frequent 61-80 %
Laminaria hyperborea 8 Frequent 81-100 %

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
96.7 EIR.LhypFa.Pk

Photos

IR.HIR.KFAR.LhypR.Pk Laminaria hyperborea park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral rock, Entrance, Loch Brittle, Skye. Dan Laffoley © JNCC
IR.HIR.KFAR.LhypR.Pk Laminaria hyperborea park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral rock, Entrance, Loch Brittle, Skye. Dan Laffoley © JNCC
IR.HIR.KFAR.LhypR.Pk Laminaria hyperborea park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral rock, W of Aird Reamhar, Loch Tarbert, Jura. Christine Howson © JNCC
IR.HIR.KFAR.LhypR.Pk Laminaria hyperborea park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral rock, W of Aird Reamhar, Loch Tarbert, Jura. Christine Howson © JNCC
IR.HIR.KFAR.LhypR.Pk Laminaria hyperborea park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral rock, Bodha Druim, Loch Laxford. David Connor © JNCC
IR.HIR.KFAR.LhypR.Pk Laminaria hyperborea park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral rock, Bodha Druim, Loch Laxford. David Connor © JNCC

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