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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Bifurcaria bifurcata in shallow eulittoral rockpools


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Very exposed, Exposed, Moderately exposed
Tidal streams
Substratum Bedrock
Zone Eulittoral
Depth Band
Other Features Rockpool

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.FLR.Rkp.Cor.Bif <I>Bifurcaria bifurcata</I> in shallow eulittoral rockpools

  • 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

Eulittoral rockpools in south-west Britain on very exposed to moderately exposed shores dominated by the brown seaweed Bifurcaria bifurcata and encrusting coralline algae and Corallina officinalis. Kelps are present and include the species Laminaria digitata, Laminaria saccharina and the wrack Himanthalia elongata. Underneath the canopy formed by these species is a high diversity of red seaweeds including the foliose species Chondrus crispus, Palmaria palmata, Osmundea pinnatifida and Mastocarpus stellatus. Other red seaweeds include Gastroclonium ovatum, Ceramium nodulosum, Calliblepharis jubata and Mesophyllum lichenoides. The green seaweeds Ulva lactuca and Enteromorpha intestinalis occur where space allows. Often found in small cracks and crevices are the anemones Actinia equina and Anemonia viridis, while the limpet Patella vulgata can be found on the rock surface. Coarse gravel, cobbles and mobile boulders often cover the bottom of these rockpools, where Gibbula umbilicalis can be found.

Situation

Rockpools throughout the eulittoral to the upper littoral fringe in bedrock on very exposed to moderately exposed shores. B. bifurcata is at the edge of its range in Britain; in France it occurs in deeper lower shore pools where the alga forms a noticeable band in the mid pool level, below a band of C. officinalis and coralline crusts.

Temporal variation

The ephemeral green seaweeds Enteromorpha intestinalis and Ulva lactuca can occur during the summer.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Actinia equina 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Anemonia viridis 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Gibbula umbilicalis 1 Frequent 21-40 %
Patella vulgata 1 Frequent 21-40 %
Palmaria palmata 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Corallinaceae 12 Abundant 61-80 %
Corallina officinalis 21 Abundant 81-100 %
Mesophyllum lichenoides 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Calliblepharis jubata 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Chondrus crispus 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Mastocarpus stellatus 1 Occasional 21-40 %
Gastroclonium ovatum 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Ceramium nodulosum 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Osmundea pinnatifida 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Laminaria digitata 4 Frequent 41-60 %
Bifurcaria bifurcata 13 Common 81-100 %
Himanthalia elongata 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Enteromorpha intestinalis 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Ulva lactuca 7 Occasional 61-80 %

Similar biotopes

LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor.Cor
Occurs in similar physical conditions at a wide range of wave exposure. Winkles such as Littorina littorea and Littorina saxatilis can be present and the diversity of red seaweeds is lower. The brown seaweed B. bifurcata is absent.

LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor.Par
Occurs at extremely exposed and exposed shores. The diversity of red seaweeds is low due the grazing pressure of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, which dominates this biotope. The brown seaweed B. bifurcata is absent.

LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor.Cys
Occurs in similar physical conditions. The brown seaweed Cystoseira spp. dominates, though species such as Scytosiphon lomentaria, Laminaria digitata and Laminaria hyperborea are usually present (Rare to Occasional).

Photos

LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Bif Bifurcaria bifurcata in shallow eulittoral rockpools, Wembury, Plymouth. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Bif Bifurcaria bifurcata in shallow eulittoral rockpools, Wembury, Plymouth. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Bif Bifurcaria bifurcata in shallow eulittoral rockpools, Crackington Haven, Cornwall. Kate Northen © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Bif Bifurcaria bifurcata in shallow eulittoral rockpools, Crackington Haven, Cornwall. Kate Northen © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Bif Bifurcaria bifurcata in shallow eulittoral rockpools, Trebetherick. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Bif Bifurcaria bifurcata in shallow eulittoral rockpools, Trebetherick. Keith Hiscock © JNCC

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