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Marine Habitat Classification


Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Tubularia indivisa and cushion sponges on tide-swept turbid circalittoral bedrock


Habitat (physical) description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Exposed, Moderately exposed
Tidal streams Very strong (>6 kn), Strong (3-6 kn)
Substratum Bedrock; boulders
Zone Circalittoral - lower, Circalittoral - upper
Depth Band 10-20 m, 20-30 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 CR.HCR.FaT.CTub.CuSp <I>Tubularia indivisa</I> and cushion sponges on tide-swept turbid circalittoral bedrock

  • 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

This variant is typically found on the vertical and upper faces of strongly tide-swept, exposed circalittoral bedrock and boulders. It is commonly associated with areas where turbidity levels are high for much of the year, for example, around Anglesey and the Lleyn Penisula. From afar, this variant appears as a dense carpet of Tubularia indivisa covering tide-swept gully walls, floors and boulders. T. indivisa is frequently observed growing through sheets of sponges such as Myxilla incrustans and Halichondria panicea as well as through dense patches of the barnacle Balanus crenatus and tubes of the amphipod Jassa spp. Several other species of sponge appear to be tolerant of the high turbidity in areas where this variant occurs, many of which are common in other biotopes. These include Esperiopsis fucorum, Pachymatisma johnstonia, Hemimycale columella, Dysidea fragilis and Clathrina coriacea. Robust hydroids (other than T. indivisa) such as Nemertesia antennina and Sertularia argentea occur in patches. The anemones Urticina felina, Actinothoe sphyrodeta and Sagartia elegans are typically common. A short bryozoan turf consisting of crisiid bryozoans, Alcyonidium diaphanum, Bicellariella ciliata, Bugula turbinata and Bugula flabellata may be present. Alcyonium digitatum may occasionally be seen although it doesn't tend to be as dominant as in CTub.Adig. Individual Corynactis viridis may be seen scattered across the gully walls and boulders. The starfish Henricia oculata may be seen on boulders and gully floors whilst typical under-boulder fauna includes the crab Cancer pagurus.

Situation

Above this biotope, Laminaria forest (LhypR) may be found.

Temporal variation

Not known.

Characterising Species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Porifera 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Clathrina coriacea 1 Frequent 41-60 %
Pachymatisma johnstonia 4 Occasional 81-100 %
Halichondria panicea 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Esperiopsis fucorum 4 Frequent 61-80 %
Hemimycale columella 3 Occasional 61-80 %
Myxilla incrustans 5 Frequent 61-80 %
Dysidea fragilis 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Tubularia indivisa 17 Abundant 81-100 %
Sertularia argentea 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Nemertesia antennina 2 Frequent 41-60 %
Alcyonium digitatum 4 Occasional 61-80 %
Urticina felina 1 Frequent 41-60 %
Sagartia elegans 7 Common 61-80 %
Actinothoe sphyrodeta 6 Common 61-80 %
Corynactis viridis 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Balanus crenatus 10 Common 81-100 %
Jassa 1 Frequent 21-40 %
Cancer pagurus 1 Rare 41-60 %
Crisiidae 3 Common 41-60 %
Alcyonidium diaphanum 2 Frequent 21-40 %
Bugula flabellata 2 Common 41-60 %
Bugula turbinata 2 Common 41-60 %
Bicellariella ciliata 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Henricia oculata 2 Occasional 41-60 %

Similar biotopes

CR.HCR.FaT.BalTub
This biotope occurs under similar conditions to CTub.CuSp, although it occurs on a more mixed range of substrata than CTub.CuSp. Both biotopes are dominated by a dense carpet of T. indivisa, although CTub.CuSp has a more diverse sponge and bryozoan turf associated with it.

CR.HCR.FaT.CTub.Adig
This biotope occurs under similar wave-exposures to CTub.CuSp although is subject to slightly weaker tidal streams than CTub.CuSp. Both biotopes are dominated by a dense carpet of T. indivisa. CTub.Adig does not contain such as diverse range of sponges as CTub.CuSp although dead mans fingers A. digitatum are typically frequent.

Biotope history

Classification Habitat code
97.06 CR.ECR.BS.TubS

Photos

CR.HCR.FAT.CTub.CuSp Tubularia indivisa and cushion sponges on tide-swept turbid circalittoral bedrock, S end, Kyle Rhea, Skye. Sue Hiscock © JNCC
CR.HCR.FAT.CTub.CuSp Tubularia indivisa and cushion sponges on tide-swept turbid circalittoral bedrock, S end, Kyle Rhea, Skye. Sue Hiscock © JNCC
CR.HCR.FAT.CTub.CuSp Tubularia indivisa and cushion sponges on tide-swept turbid circalittoral bedrock, S end, Kyle Rhea, Skye. Sue Hiscock © JNCC
CR.HCR.FAT.CTub.CuSp Tubularia indivisa and cushion sponges on tide-swept turbid circalittoral bedrock, S end, Kyle Rhea, Skye. Sue Hiscock © JNCC
CR.HCR.FAT.CTub.CuSp Tubularia indivisa and cushion sponges on tide-swept turbid circalittoral bedrock, S end, Kyle Rhea, Skye. Sue Hiscock © JNCC
CR.HCR.FAT.CTub.CuSp Tubularia indivisa and cushion sponges on tide-swept turbid circalittoral bedrock, S end, Kyle Rhea, Skye. Sue Hiscock © JNCC

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