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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

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   High energy littoral rock

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Extremely exposed, Very exposed, Exposed
Tidal streams Very strong (>6 kn), Strong (3-6 kn), Moderately strong (1-3 kn)
Substratum Bedrock, large boulders
Zone Eulittoral - upper
Depth Band Lower shore, Mid shore, Upper 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 High energy littoral 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.


Extremely exposed to moderately exposed or tide-swept bedrock and boulder shores. Extremely exposed shores dominated by mussels and barnacles, occasionally with robust fucoids or turfs of red seaweed. Tide-swept shores support communities of fucoids, sponges and ascidians on the mid to lower shore. Three biotope complexes have been described: Communities on very exposed to moderately exposed upper and mid eulittoral bedrock and boulders dominated by the mussel Mytilus edulis, barnacles Chthamalus spp. and/or Semibalanus balanoides and the limpets Patella spp. (MusB); red and brown seaweeds able to tolerate the extreme conditions of exposed rocky shores, primarily the physical stresses caused by wave action (FR), and tide-swept shores in more sheltered areas (such as narrow channels in sea loch) with canopy forming fucoids and a rich filter-feeding community (FT).


No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal variation data available.

Characterising species

Characterising species data not applicable.

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

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