BIOTIC Species Information for Ascophyllum nodosum
Researched byJacqueline Hill & Nicola White Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Dagmar Stengel
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandAll coasts of Britain and Ireland.
Global distributionGlobal distribution is restricted to the North Atlantic Ocean. Its northern limits are the White Sea in the east and Baffin Island in the west. Southern distributions extend to northern Portugal and New Jersey.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeNot relevant
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationThe local distribution of Ascophyllum nodosum is largely determined by wave exposure. As exposure to wave action increases the number of plants becomes progressively less and they consist increasingly of stumps and short lived shoots. On sheltered shores Ascophyllum nodosum may competitively exclude %Fucus vesiculosus%. The species can tolerate salinities down to 15 psu and can tolerate constant immersion but thrives better when exposed to air at low tide.

Substratum preferencesSmall boulders
Large to very large boulders
Physiographic preferencesStrait / sound
Ria / Voe
Open coast
Biological zoneMid Eulittoral
Upper Eulittoral
Wave exposureModerately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Ultra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Baardseth, 1970, Peckol, 1988, Hardy & Guiry, 2003,
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