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Marine Habitat Classification


3 results for 'CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSwi'

   CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSwi  Caryophyllia smithii and Swiftia pallida on circalittoral rock

This biotope is typically found on the upper and vertical faces of very exposed through to wave-sheltered circalittoral bedrock and boulders, which are typically subject to weak tidal streams. It is characterised by dense aggregations of the cup coral Caryophyllia smithii and the sea fan Swiftia pallida on the silty substratum. Under the silt, bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa and encrusting red algae may be seen. This biotope may have a grazed appearance, perhaps attributable to the frequently occurring Echinus esculentus. There may be a sparse hydroid turf present, with species such as Nemertesia antennina, Nemertesia ramosa and Halecium halecinum present. The soft corals Alcyonium glomeratum and Alcyonium digitatum may be present on the tops of boulders along with the crinoids Antedon petasus and Antedon bifida. Other echinoderms occasionally observed include the starfish Marthasterias glacialis, Asterias rubens and Luidia ciliaris. Sponges feature only occasionally in this biotope, including species such as Cliona celata. The bryozoan Porella compressa may also be recorded. Ascidians occasionally present include Ascidia mentula, Clavelina lepadiformis and Ciona intestinalis. Under-boulder fauna typically consists of the crustacean Munida rugosa. The polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter may be seen encrusting the rocky surface. Two variants of this biotope have been identified; CarSwi.Aglo and CarSwi.LgAs. CarSwi.Aglo is a heavily silted biotope characterised by the sea fan S. pallida, the cup coral C. smithii and the soft coral A. glomeratum and is only present in Irish waters. CarSwi.LgAs has been recorded off the west coast of Scotland, and is characterised by large solitary ascidians and the cup coral C. smithii.

   CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSwi.Aglo  Caryophyllia smithii, Swiftia pallida and Alcyonium glomeratum on wave-sheltered circalittoral rock

This variant typically occurs on sheltered, ridged, circalittoral bedrock or boulders subject to only weak tidal streams, but may be found in somewhat more exposed conditions. It is found in water depths ranging from 15m to 32m. Commonly occurring Swiftia pallida characterises this heavily silted biotope along with Caryophyllia smithii and frequent Alcyonium glomeratum. Under the silt, bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa may be found. There is a strong echinoderm component to the community, with the tentacles of Aslia lefevrei frequently seen protruding from crevices in the ridged bedrock. Holothuria (Panningothuria) forskali is often seen on the upper faces of boulders and bedrock. Marthasterias glacialis, Asterias rubens, Echinus esculentus, Henricia oculata and Luidia ciliaris may also be present. A sparse hydroid turf may also be present, with species such as Schizotricha frutescens, Halecium halecinum and Nemertesia antennina. In addition, there may be anthozoans such as Isozoanthus sulcatus and Corynactis viridis. The sponge Suberites carnosus is typically associated with a heavily silted habitat. Other sponges present include Cliona celata, Stelligera stuposa and Polymastia boletiformis. The only records are from the west coast of Ireland.

   CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSwi.LgAs  Caryophyllia smithii, Swiftia pallida and large solitary ascidians on exposed or moderately exposed circalittoral rock

This variant typically occurs on exposed to moderately wave-exposed, circalittoral bedrock and boulders rock subject to mainly weak tidal streams and has a thin layer of silt present. It is found predominantly from 10-30m water depth. From afar, this biotope is mostly distinguished by the frequently occurring seafan Swiftia pallida, encrusting red algae and the abundant cup coral Caryophyllia smithii. This biotope has quite an impoverished appearance, compared with SwiLgAs which has a strong sponge component. Other species present are typically in low abundance. Echinoderms such as Echinus esculentus, Antedon bifida, Antedon petasus, Leptometra celtica, Marthasterias glacialis, Luidia ciliaris and Asterias rubens may be recorded. Large hydroids such as Nemertesia antennina and Nemertesia ramosa may occasionally be seen in isolated clumps on the tops of boulders and rocky outcrops. The anthozoan Parazoanthus anguicomus may be recorded. Bryozoans such as Parasmittina trispinosa and Porella compressa are occasionally observed. The polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter may be observed encrusting the sides of rocks and boulders while occasional Alcyonium digitatum may also be seen. A small suite of large ascidians may be present, including Ascidia mentula, Clavelina lepadiformis, Ciona intestinalis, Diazona violacea and Ascidia virginea. Sponges are typically absent from this biotope, although Cliona celata may be recorded occasionally. The top shell Steromphala cineraria is usually present. Under boulders and overhangs, the squat lobster Munida rugosa can usually be seen hiding. All these records are from the west coast of Scotland (East coast of Lewis /Outer Hebrides).
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