BIOTIC Species Information for Laminaria digitata
Researched byJacqueline Hill Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandMost coasts of Britain and Ireland, including Rockall. Scarce along east coast of England, particularly between Ouse and Thames estuaries, due to turbidity and lack of hard substrata. Absent from Liverpool Bay and Severn estuary due to turbidity.
Global distributionRecorded from the Atlantic coasts of Europe as far north as Novaya Zemlya and south to the Canary Islands, including Iceland. Also found in southern Greenland and east coast Canada, Quebec and North America from Hudson Straits to New York.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeLower intertidal to 20 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationThere is a marked difference in the lower depth limit of Laminaria digitata between the various parts of its geographical range. Depth is determined by water clarity and competition. In the Isle of Man the lower limit is at 1-2m below the lowest astronomical tide and at Milford Haven it has been recorded at 5m. In the north of its range Laminaria digitata extends to depths of 15-20m (Birkett et al., 1998b). Where %Laminaria hyperborea% thrives it out-competes Laminaria digitata limiting the lower limit of Laminaria digitata (Kain 1975).
The salinity optimum for Laminaria digitata is full salinity. However, on the Norwegian coast, subject to seasonal fluctuations in salinity, Sundene (1964) found healthy Laminaria digitata plants growing between 15 and 25psu.

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Artificial (e.g. metal/wood/concrete)
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneSublittoral Fringe
Lower Eulittoral
Upper Infralittoral
Wave exposureVery Exposed
Moderately Exposed
Tidal stream strength/Water flowVery Strong (>6 kn)
Strong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Guiry & Blunden, 1991, Birkett et al., 1998b, Kain, 1979, Kain, 1975, Bolten & Lüning, 1982, Sundene, 1964, Bassindale et al., 1948, Hardy & Guiry, 2003, Guiry, 2006,
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