Biodiversity & Conservation

Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds with hydroids and echinoderms in deeper infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand

SS.SMp.Mrl.Pcal.Nmix


IGS.Phy.Hec

Image Sarah Fowler - Maerl bed in Loch Gairloch, Highland. Image width ca 2 m in foreground.
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Distribution map

SS.SMp.Mrl.Pcal.Nmix recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)


  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP
  • OSPAR

For a list of 2004 characterising species please see the JNCC website.

Map icon UK and Ireland classification

Major habitat SS Sublittoral sediment
Habitat complex SS.SMp Sublittoral macrophyte-dominated communities on sediments
Biotope complex SS.SMp.Mrl Maerl beds
Biotope SS.SMp.Mrl.Pcal Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds in infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand

Additional information icon Additional information

  • European Union Nature Information System code: A4.1/B-IGS.Mrl.Phy.Hec
  • This assessment specifically covers the biotope IGS.Phy.Hec although there is considerable variation within the biotope. No two maerl beds are the same and each bed reflects the unique local environmental conditions.
  • However, quite a lot of the basic conditions in some of the maerl biotopes are similar and, IGS.Phy.Hec has been used as a surrogate for these biotopes. The other biotopes represented by this assessment are IGS.Phy.R, IMX.Lcor, IMX.Lfas, and IMX.Lden
  • IGS.Phy.Hec was selected not selected because it was the rarest or most sensitive but primarily because more information is available on this biotope. Some of the other biotopes covered in this assessment are rarer, less well studied and potentially at greater risk of damage through anthropogenic activities or natural events.

This review can be cited as follows:

Jackson, A. 2006. Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds with hydroids and echinoderms in deeper infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/07/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatclassification.php?habitatid=64&code=2004>