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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

To understand more about what this page is describing, see How to use the classification. See also How to cite.

   Saccharina latissima and robust red algae on infralittoral gravel and pebbles

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible)
Substratum Muddy gravelly mixed sediment
Zone Infralittoral - lower, Infralittoral
Depth Band 5-10 m, 10-20 m
Other Features

Biotope origin

Derived using data from Various
Faunal group Epifauna

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.KSwSS.SlatR.Gv <I>Saccharina latissima</I> and robust red algae on infralittoral gravel and pebbles

  • 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.


Shallow kelp community found on gravel and gravelly sand in slightly less exposed areas than SS.SMp.KSwSS.SlatR.CbPb but in moderately strong tidal currents, and characterised by occasional Saccharina latissima with an undergrowth of robust red seaweeds. Characteristic red seaweeds, as with SS.SMp.KSwSS.SlatR.CbPb, include Plocamium cartilagineum, Halarachnion ligulatum and Vertebrata byssoides. However, the greater stability of this biotope allows a slightly more diverse range of red seaweeds to become established including Polyides rotunda, Rhodophyllis divaricata, Delesseria sanguinea and Nitophyllum punctatum. Coralline encrusting algae may be found covering the larger pebbles. Laminaria hyperborea may also be present within this biotope at low densities. Other brown algal species present include Desmarestia spp., Dictyota dichotoma and Chorda filum, all at low abundance. The ubiquitous green seaweed Ulva sp. may be found attached to larger pebbles.


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
Saccharina latissima 10 Occasional 81-100%
Plocamium cartilagineum 5 Occasional 61-80%
Ulva 5 Occasional 61-80%
Asterias rubens 4 Occasional 41-60%
Corallinaceae 3 Occasional 41-60%
Delesseria sanguinea 3 Occasional 41-60%
Dictyota dichotoma 3 Occasional 41-60%
Pagurus bernhardus 3 Occasional 41-60%
Bonnemaisonia asparagoides 2 Occasional 41-60%
Vertebrata byssoides 2 Occasional 41-60%
Chorda filum 2 Occasional 21-40%
Desmarestia aculeata 2 Occasional 41-60%
Desmarestia viridis 2 Occasional 41-60%
Gracilaria gracilis 2 Occasional 21-40%
Halarachnion ligulatum 2 Occasional 41-60%
Hypoglossum hypoglossoides 2 Occasional 21-40%
Laminaria hyperborea 2 Occasional 41-60%
Nitophyllum punctatum 2 Occasional 41-60%
Polyides rotunda 2 Occasional 41-60%
Rhodophyllis divaricata 2 Occasional 41-60%
Metacallophyllis laciniata 1 Occasional 21-40%
Cerianthus lloydii 1 Occasional 21-40%
Chylocladia verticillata 1 Occasional 21-40%
Cryptopleura ramosa 1 Occasional 21-40%
Cystoclonium purpureum 1 Occasional 21-40%
Dilsea carnosa 1 Occasional 41-60%
Steromphala cineraria 1 Occasional 21-40%
Lomentaria clavellosa 1 Occasional 41-60%
Phycodrys rubens 1 Occasional 21-40%
Phyllophora crispa 1 Occasional 21-40%
Carradoriella elongata 1 Occasional 21-40%
Spirobranchus triqueter 1 Occasional 21-40%
Pterothamnion plumula 1 Occasional 21-40%
Rhodomela confervoides 1 Occasional 21-40%
Bonnemaisonia hamifera 1 Frequent 21-40%

Similar biotopes or habitat types

SS.SMp.KSwSS.SlatR.CbPb has a less dense covering of S. latissima, with a less diverse, more robust red algal community.

Similar in species composition but differ in sediment characteristics and consequently infaunal species composition.

Classification history of this biotope or habitat type

Classification version Code Habitat name
2015 (15.03) SS.SMp.KSwSS.LsacR.Gv Laminaria saccharina and robust red algae on infralittoral gravel and pebble
2004 (04.05) SS.SMp.KSwSS.LsacR.Gv Laminaria saccharina and robust red algae on infralittoral gravel and pebble
1997 (97.06) SS.MIR.SedK.EphR (part) Ephemeral red seaweeds and kelps on tide-swept mobile infralittoral cobbles

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