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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Circalittoral fouling faunal communities

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Moderately exposed, Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams Moderately strong (1-3 kn)
Substratum Artifical
Zone Circalittoral
Depth Band 5-10 m, 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.FCR.FouFa Circalittoral fouling faunal communities

  • 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 biotope complex contains two biotopes which, although have different physical habitat characteristics, share the fact that they colonise new areas of artificial substrata relatively quickly. The Ascidiella aspersa fouling biotope (Aasp) is found on wave-sheltered artificial substrata such as discarded fishing nets/mooring lines. A separate fouling biotope (AdigMsen) is described for open coast wrecks. This biotope has a characteristic faunal community of Alcyonium digitatum and the anemone Metridium senile. Other species recorded in this complex (primarily under the AdigMsen biotope) include the hydroid Nemertesia antennina, the anemones Actinothoe sphyrodeta and Cylista elegans, the cup coral Caryophyllia smithii, the bryozoans Flustra foliacea and Crisularia plumosa, the crabs Necora puber, Cancer pagurus and Maja squinado and the lobster Homarus gammarus.


No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal variation data available.

Characterising species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Metridium senile 23 Frequent 61-80%
Alcyonium digitatum 15 Occasional 61-80%
Necora puber 12 Rare 61-80%
Ascidiella aspersa 8 Frequent 21-40%
Cancer pagurus 7 Rare 41-60%
Actinothoe sphyrodeta 5 Occasional 41-60%
Maja squinado 5 Occasional 21-40%
Crisularia plumosa 2 Occasional 1-20%
Flustra foliacea 2 Occasional 21-40%
Nemertesia antennina 2 Occasional 21-40%
Caryophyllia smithii 1 Occasional 21-40%
Cylista elegans 1 Frequent 21-40%
Homarus gammarus 1 Rare 21-40%

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

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