BIOTIC Species Information for Alaria esculenta
Researched byDr Harvey Tyler-Walters Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Stefan Kraan
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandFound around the Shetland Isles, Orkney and east coast of Scotland, south to Flamborough Head in England. Its distribution continues along the south west of England and the west coasts of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland including the Isle of Man.
Global distributionAlaria esculenta occurs in the North Atlantic from Novaya Zemlya to Iceland and south to Brittany in the east and from the shores of Greenland to the Bering Strait in the west. It also occurs in the Bering Sea and Sea of Japan in the North Pacific
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range0-8 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationAlaria esculenta is absent from most of the east coast of England, primarily due to a lack of suitable substrata. The species is found all around the Irish coast, where rocky shores as substratum are available. It occurs at a depth of 15 m in the Aran Islands and below 35 m off the Scellig Islands, Ireland and Rockall.

Alaria esculenta is present in the North Pacific and North Atlantic, where it is located north as far as the winter sea ice and as far south as the 16 °C summer isotherm, represented by the French coast of Brittany in the European North Atlantic (Luning, 1990). Its absence in the southern North Sea and English Channel is due to high summer surface temperatures of 16 °C, which it cannot survive (Munda & Luning, 1977; Widdowson, 1971; Sundene, 1962). Its distribution in the Arctic Sea is associated with the -2 °C February winter isotherm (Kraan pers. comm.).

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Artificial (e.g. metal/wood/concrete)
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Upper Infralittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Wave exposureExtremely Exposed
Very Exposed
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward et al., 1996, Birkett et al., 1998b, Lüning, 1990, Guiry, 2000, Sundene, 1962, Dring, 1982, JNCC, 1999, Picton & Costello, 1998, Kraan & Guiry, 2000, Munda & Luning, 1977, Newton, 1931, Hardy & Guiry, 2003,
About MarLIN | Contact, Enquiries & Feedback | Terms & Conditions | Funding | Glossary | Accessibility | Privacy | Sponsorship

Creative Commons License BIOTIC (Biological Traits Information Catalogue) by MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own terms and conditions and they may or may not be available for reuse. Based on a work at