Description of biotope or habitat type
Fucus spiralis on full salinity sheltered upper eulittoral rock
Physical habitat description
|Salinity||Full (30-35 ppt)|
|Wave exposure||Moderately exposed|
|Substratum||Bedrock; stable boulders; cobbles|
|Zone||Eulittoral - upper|
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.
- 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.
Sheltered upper eulittoral bedrock characterised by a band of the spiral wrack Fucus spiralis overlying the black lichen Verrucaria maura and the olive green lichen Verrucaria mucosa. Underneath the fronds of F. spiralis is a community consisting of the limpet Patella vulgata, the winkles Littorina saxatilis and Littorina littorea and sparse individuals of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides while the mussel Mytilus edulis can be found attached in cracks and crevices. A variety of red algae including Hildenbrandia rubra may be present underneath the fronds. During the summer months ephemeral green seaweeds such as Enteromorpha intestinalis can be common.
This zone usually lies below a zone dominated by the wrack Pelvetia canaliculata (PelB; Pel), but occasional clumps of P. canaliculata may be present (usually less than common) amongst the F. spiralis. In areas of extreme shelter, such as in Scottish sea lochs, the P. canaliculata and F. spiralis zones often merge together forming a very narrow band. Fspi occurs above the wracks Ascophyllum nodosum (Asc) and/or Fucus vesiculosus (Fves) zones and these two fucoids may also occur, although F. spiralis always dominates. Vertical surfaces in this zone, especially on moderately exposed shores, often lack the fucoids and are characterised by a barnacle-limpet dominated community (Sem).
|Taxon||Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%)||Typical abundance - SACFOR scale||% of core records where taxon was recorded|
|Semibalanus balanoides||6||Occasional||41-60 %|
|Patella vulgata||10||Frequent||61-80 %|
|Littorina littorea||3||Occasional||41-60 %|
|Littorina saxatilis||11||Occasional||61-80 %|
|Mytilus edulis||2||Rare||21-40 %|
|Hildenbrandia rubra||5||Occasional||21-40 %|
|Fucus spiralis||43||Common||81-100 %|
|Enteromorpha intestinalis||5||Occasional||41-60 %|
|Verrucaria maura||4||Frequent||41-60 %|
|Verrucaria mucosa||3||Frequent||21-40 %|
Similar biotopes or habitat types
Classification history of this biotope or habitat type
|97.06||SLR.Fspi in part|