BIOTIC Species Information for Chondrus crispus
Researched byWill Rayment and Paolo Pizzola Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Stefan Kraan
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandWidely distributed on rocky shores on all British and Irish coasts.
Global distributionSee additional information.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangemid eulittoral, exceptionally to 24 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationIn Galway Bay, Ireland, Chondrus crispus occurs in relatively stable conditions. The annual variation in sea surface temperature was 10-16°C and in salinity was 32-35 psu (Pybus, 1977). However, the species is capable of existing in much more variable environments. In New Hampshire, USA, Chondrus crispus formed its most extensive populations on the open coast on massive outcrops and boulders in the shallow subtidal (3 to 5 metres deep) (Mathieson & Burns, 1975). The annual variation in sea surface temperatures was -1 to 19°C. The species also occurred in an estuarine tidal rapid experiencing currents up to 5.5 knots and salinity fluctuations from 16-32 psu (Mathieson & Burns, 1975).

Global distribution
Occurs in Iceland, the Faroes, the western Baltic Sea, from northern Russia to southern Spain, the Mediterranean, Portugal, the Azores and West Africa. In north America it occurs in Alaska and from Labrador in Canada to New Jersey in the USA. Also occurs in the Bering Sea (East Asia).

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Strait / sound
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneMid Eulittoral
Lower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Circalittoral
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Wave exposureExposed
Moderately Exposed
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)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Fish & Fish, 1996, Dickinson, 1963, Hiscock, 1986b, Dixon & Irvine, 1977, Pybus, 1977, Mathieson & Burns, 1975, Hardy & Guiry, 2003, Mann, 1972, Guiry & Nic Dhonncha, 2002,
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