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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

To understand more about what this page is describing, see How to use the classification. See also How to cite.

   High energy circalittoral 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)
Substratum Bedrock;boulders
Zone Circalittoral - lower, Circalittoral - upper
Depth Band 10-20 m, 20-30 m
Other Features Tideswept

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 High energy circalittoral 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'
  • 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.


This habitat complex occurs on extremely wave-exposed to exposed circalittoral bedrock and boulders subject to tidal streams ranging from strong to very strong. Typically found in tidal straits and narrows. The high energy levels found within this habitat complex are reflected in the fauna recorded. Sponges such as Pachymatisma johnstonia, Halichondria panicea, Amphilectus fucorum and Myxilla incrustans may all be recorded. Characteristic of this habitat complex is the dense 'carpet' of the hydroid Tubularia indivisa. The barnacle Balanus crenatus is recorded in high abundance on the rocky substrata. On rocky outcrops, Alcyonium digitatum is often present.


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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