BIOTIC Species Information for Flustra foliacea
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandCommon on all rocky coasts of Britain and Ireland.
Global distributionFlustra foliacea occurs in the Kara Sea, White Sea and Barents Sea in the Arctic circle, the North Sea, and extends south as far as Bay of Biscay. Also found on the east coast of Greenland.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationFlustra foliacea may colonize any hard substratum, such as shells, stones, or cobbles but forms dense aggregations particularly in otherwise barren, current swept rocky bottoms. Although present in a wide range of tidal streams and wave exposure, Flustra foliacea is abundant in moderately strong to strong tidal streams (Hiscock, 1983). Dyer et al. (1982) reported between <10 to >200 colonies per m² in trawls in the North Sea. Flustra foliacea is associated with strong currents and areas subject to sediment abrasion (Stebbing, 1971a; Knight-Jones & Nelson-Smith, 1977; Hartnoll, 1983; Holme & Wilson, 1985) and requires stable hard substrata (Eggleston, 1972b; Ryland, 1976; Dyrynda, 1994). The abundance of bryozoans is positively correlated with supply of stable hard substrata and hence with current strength (Eggleston, 1972b; Ryland, 1976).

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Biological zoneUpper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
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 Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1998, Ryland, 1970, Ryland, 1967, Ryland, 1977, Stebbing, 1971, JNCC, 1999, Picton & Costello, 1998, NBN, 2002, Dyer et al., 1982, Holme & Wilson, 1985, Hiscock, 1983, Hiscock, 1985 (b), Hartnoll, 1983, Knight-Jones & Nelson-Smith, 1977, Dyrynda, 1994, Eggleston, 1972b, Hincks, 1880, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
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