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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Cystoseira spp. in 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.Cys <I>Cystoseira</I> spp. in 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 on exposed to moderately exposed south-western shores dominated by the brown alga Cystoseira spp. (including Cystoseira tamariscifolia), coralline crusts and Corallina officinalis. These pools generally support dense red algal growth comprising: Ceramium spp., Calliblepharis jubata, Chondrus crispus, Osmundea pinnatifida and Gelidium latifolium. Wracks such as Himanthalia elongata and the epiphytic brown seaweed Colpomenia peregrina are present while the kelp Laminaria digitata can occupy the deeper parts of the pool. The green seaweeds Enteromorpha intestinalis and Ulva lactuca are usually present as well. The pools usually contain some sand and pebbles at the base of the pool while spirorbid polychaetes and Pomatoceros spp. build their tubes on any small boulders present. In addition, these pools can support high numbers of grazing gastropods including the top shells Gibbula cineraria and Gibbula umbilicalis but also the limpet Patella vulgata, while sponges such Hymeniacidon perleve and Halichondria panicea can be found overgrowing the small boulders or on and around the seaweeds. The shanny Lipophrus pholis is present hiding underneath boulder and cobbles, while the anemone Actinia equina is found in cracks and crevices. number of available records and care should be taken not to interpret this solely as a very high species richness.

Situation

Rockpools throughout the eulittoral zone in bedrock on very exposed to moderately exposed south-western shores.

Temporal variation

Unknown.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Halichondria panicea 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Hymeniacidon perleve 3 Occasional 61-80 %
Actinia equina 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Pomatoceros 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Spirorbidae 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Gibbula cineraria 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Gibbula umbilicalis 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Patella vulgata 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Lipophrys pholis 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Gelidium latifolium 5 Occasional 81-100 %
Corallinaceae 10 Common 81-100 %
Corallina officinalis 9 Abundant 81-100 %
Calliblepharis jubata 3 Frequent 61-80 %
Chondrus crispus 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Ceramium 3 Frequent 41-60 %
Osmundea pinnatifida 1 Rare 41-60 %
Colpomenia peregrina 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Laminaria digitata 3 Occasional 61-80 %
Cystoseira 15 Common 81-100 %
Himanthalia elongata 1 Rare 41-60 %
Enteromorpha intestinalis 3 Occasional 61-80 %
Ulva lactuca 4 Frequent 41-60 %

Similar biotopes

LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor.Cor
Occurs in similar physical conditions at a wide range of wave exposures. 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 on 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.Bif
Occurs in similar physical conditions, and also in the littoral fringe. The brown seaweed Bifurcaria bifurcata dominates.

Photos

LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Cys Cystoseira spp. in eulittoral rockpools, S of Rosemullian Head. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Cys Cystoseira spp. in eulittoral rockpools, S of Rosemullian Head. Keith Hiscock © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Cys Cystoseira spp. in eulittoral rockpools, South of Trevarnon Beach, Newquay. Paul Brazier © JNCC
LR.FLR.RKP.Cor.Cys Cystoseira spp. in eulittoral rockpools, South of Trevarnon Beach, Newquay. Paul Brazier © JNCC

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