7 results for 'CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr'
CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr Faunal and algal crusts on exposed to moderately wave-exposed circalittoral rock
This biotope typically occurs on the vertical and upper faces of wave-exposed and moderately wave-exposed circalittoral bedrock or boulders subject to mostly moderate to weak tidal streams (a variant of this biotope containing brittlestar is found on bedrock, boulders and cobbles). The biotope is dominated by faunal (e.g. Parasmittina trispinosa) and algal (Corallinaceae) crusts, and tends to have a grazed appearance; this may be partially attributable to the abundance of Echinus esculentus found in this biotope. Occasionally, the rock may appear pink from a distance, due to the expanses of encrusting red algae on the rock surface. Alcyonium digitatum is one of the few species to stand erect from the encrusted rock surface and are frequently encountered, on the tops of rocky outcrops and boulders. Hydroids do not form a prominent feature of this biotope, with only robust species such as Abietinaria abietina frequently recorded. Sponges and Caryophyllia smithii are rarely present while erect bryozoans and ascidians are scarce (although there are exceptions, see variants). The E. esculentus grazed substratum may be interspersed with other encrusting species such as the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter and the saddle oyster Pododesmus patelliformis. Other species present include Asterias rubens, Ophiothrix fragilis, Urticina felina, Ophiocomina nigra, Pagurus bernhardus, Flustra foliacea, Steromphala cineraria, Calliostoma zizyphinum, Ophiura albida, Ciona intestinalis and Antedon bifida. Six variants of this biotope have been recorded. FaAlCr.Flu is dominated by the silt and scour tolerant bryozoan F. foliacea. FaAlCr.Adig is dominated by A. digitatum. FaAlCr.Sec is dominated by Securiflustra securifrons. FaAlCr.Pom looks extremely impoverished (even for a grazed community). FaAlCr.Bri has a dense covering of brittlestars while FaAlCr.Car is only found under weak/very weak tides and is dominated by C. smithii.
CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr.Car Caryophyllia smithii with faunal and algal crusts on moderately wave-exposed circalittoral rock
This variant is typically found on the upper and vertical faces of exposed and moderately wave-exposed circalittoral rock, subject to very little water movement. Where this variant is found on slightly more wave-exposed sites, it tends to be found towards the bottom of its depth range. The rocky substratum has a grazed appearance, with encrusting red algae. Diversity of species is very low, possibly due to grazing pressure from the sea urchin Echinus esculentus. From afar, there is little evident epifauna attached to the rocks apart from the white, calcareous tubes of the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter and the cup-coral Caryophyllia smithii. In addition, bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa are frequently seen. Under closer inspection, a few more species become apparent but few are typically characterising of this particular variant. The echinoderms Antedon bifida, Asterias rubens, Ophiothrix fragilis, Marthasterias glacialis, Ophiocomina nigra and Crossaster papposus are occasionally present. Sparse clumps of hydroids such as Halecium halecinum, Kirchenpaueria pinnata and Nemertesia antennina may be found attached to rocky outcrops or boulders. Small specimens of Alcyonium digitatum may be present. The ascidians Ciona intestinalis, Clavelina lepadiformis and Ascidia mentula also occur in this variant but are found in greater numbers in other biotopes. The top shells Calliostoma zizyphinum, Steromphala cineraria, and the saddle oyster Pododesmus patelliformis may be seen on the rock surface whilst the crab Cancer pagurus may be seen under boulders and in crevices. The anemone Metridium senile may be found under rocky overhangs and on the sides of boulders.
CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr.Flu Flustra foliacea on slightly scoured silty circalittoral rock
This variant is typically found on the upper faces of moderately wave-exposed circalittoral bedrock or boulders subjected to moderately strong tidal streams. These rocky patches may be interspersed with gravelly sand patches, causing a scouring effect. From afar, the variant appears dominated by the bryozoan Flustra foliacea. Alcyonium digitatum may also be seen attached to the rocky substratum. Under closer inspection, the white tubes of the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter may be observed on the rock and boulders, especially on vertical faces. There may be sandy/gravelly patches in between the boulders colonised by the anemone Urticina felina. The regular occurrence of large numbers of the sea urchin Echinus esculentus in this biotope may be responsible for grazing the faunal and algal turf, thus keeping species richness relatively low. Other echinoderms that may be seen include the ubiquitous starfish Asterias rubens and the common brittlestar Ophiothrix fragilis. Sparse clumps of the hydroids Thuiaria thuja, Abietinaria abietina, Nemertesia antennina and Tubularia indivisa are occasionally seen attached to the rocky substratum. The hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus, the polychaete Sabella pavonina and sparse bryozoan crusts may also be present. This biotope is characteristic of the bedrock terraces along the Northumberland coast that are generally species impoverished compared to similar F. foliacea biotopes on the west coasts of the UK, which have a more diverse range of sponges, hydroids and bryozoans. As the turbidity levels increase in this fairly silty biotope, so the species diversity is reduced.
CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr.Adig Alcyonium digitatum, Spirobranchus triqueter, algal and bryozoan crusts on wave-exposed circalittoral rock
This variant is typically found on the vertical, steep and upper faces of wave-exposed circalittoral bedrock or boulders subject to varying amounts of current. The variant has a very grazed, sparse appearance, dominated only by the presence of Alcyonium digitatum and large expanses of encrusting red alage and bryozoan crusts particularly (Parasmittina trispinosa). The sparse appearance can be attributed to the frequently observed sea urchin Echinus esculentus. The polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter can be locally abundant, and may in some cases cover far more rock surface than A. digitatum, especially on vertical faces. Clumps of robust hydroids such as Abietinaria abietina occur occasionally. Other species present include the echinoderms Asterias rubens, Henricia sanguinolenta, Ophiothrix fragilis, the anemone Urticina felina, Calliostoma zizyphinum and Cancer pagurus.
CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr.Sec Alcyonium digitatum with Securiflustra securifrons on tide-swept moderately wave-exposed circalittoral rock
This variant is typically found on the upper and vertical faces of moderately wave-exposed circalittoral bedrock subject to moderately strong to weak tidal streams. The rock surface is dominated by Alcyonium digitatum and the bryozoan Securiflustra securifrons. The rock between these species appears fairly sparse and grazed, with expanses of encrusting red algae. The sea urchin Echinus esculentus is frequently seen, and in collaboration with the light attenuating effects of depth, is probably the principal reason for the lack of algal turf. Other species found include the hydroids Abietinaria abietina, Nemertesia antennina, Thuiaria thuja, the bryozoans Cellepora pumicosa, Parasmittina trispinosa, Flustra foliacea, Alcyonidium diaphanum and other bryozoan crusts. Encrusting species such as the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter and the barnacle Balanus balanus are frequently observed. Other species present include Asterias rubens, Antedon bifida, Ophiura albida, Ophiothrix fragilis, Caryophyllia smithii, Urticina felina, Clavelina lepadiformis, Calliostoma zizphinium and Pandalus montagui.
CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr.Bri Brittlestars on faunal and algal encrusted exposed to moderately wave-exposed circalittoral rock
This variant is typically found on the upper faces of exposed and moderately wave-exposed circalittoral bedrock, boulders and cobbles subject to moderately strong to weak tidal streams. It is characterised by high densities of brittlestars (predominantly Ophiothrix fragilis, Ophiocomina nigra and Ophiura albida). In fact, they may form such dense beds that the seabed underneath may not be visible. The rocky substratum is usually colonised by species such as encrusting red algae and the white, calcareous tubes of the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter. Only robust hydroids such as Abietinaria abietina, Alcyonium digitatum and bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa are able to tolerate the significant smothering effect from the dense mat of brittlestars. Other species typically seen include Echinus esculentus, Asterias rubens, Pagurus bernhardus, Anapagurus hyndmanni, Steromphala cineraria, Urticina felina, Pododesmus patelliformis and Ciona intestinalis.
CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr.Spi Faunal and algal crusts with Spirobranchus triqueter and sparse Alcyonium digitatum on exposed to moderately wave-exposed circalittoral rock
This variant is typically found on the upper faces of exposed and moderately exposed circalittoral bedrock or boulders subjected to moderately strong to weak tidal streams. From afar, the seabed has a rather sparse, grazed appearance, reminiscent of a brittlestar bed after the brittlestars have moved elsewhere. The rocky substratum is generally covered with encrusting red algae and the white, calcareous tubes of the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter, dotted with the abundant urchin Echinus esculentus. Under closer inspection, Alcyonium digitatum are usually seen attached to the rocky surface underneath rock overhangs and large boulders. Although they may be recorded as abundant or common in some areas, their relatively small size means that their biomass is generally lower than in other biotopes. Sparse clumps of robust hydroids such as Abietinaria abietina are frequently observed, and bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa are occasionally seen. Echinoderms such as the brittlestars Ophiothrix fragilis and Ophiocomina nigra, and the crab Cancer pagurus may be seen within crevices in the boulders/rock whilst the starfish Asterias rubens may be seen on the rock surface. Muddy-gravel patches between boulders (especially within Scottish sealochs) provide a suitable habitat for the anemone Urticina felina. The top shell Steromphala cineraria is occasionally seen grazing on the rock surface. Within this biotope, there is some regional variation. The robust hydroid A. abietina is typically found in higher abundances in northern (Scottish) regions, especially around the Isle of May.