|Basic Information||Biotope classification||Ecology||Habitat preferences and distribution||Species composition||Sensitivity||Importance|
Image Anon. - Laminaria hyperborea forest with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed upper infralittoral rock (EIR.LhypR.Ft). Image width ca 3 m in foreground.
Image copyright information
IR.EIR.KFaR.LhypR recorded () and expected () distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)
EC Habitats Directive
|National importance||Not available|
|Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1)||Reefs
Large shallow inlets and bays
Kelps provide a substratum for a large number of epiphytic flora and fauna (see habitat complexity) and it has been estimated that the rugose stipes provide one and a half times that surface area provided by the bedrock (Jones et al., 2000). Holdfasts support a diverse fauna that represents a sample of the surrounding mobile fauna and crevice dwelling organisms, e.g., polychaetes, small crabs, gastropods, bivalves, and amphipods. The kelp beds provide refuge for nurseries, reduce current flow and ameliorate wave exposure, allowing more delicate organisms to survive in the shallow sublittoral. Shading by the canopy allows shade tolerance algae, especially Rhodophyceae to extend into the upper infralittoral. Kelps beds are an important primary producer of organic carbon for surrounding communities (Birkett et al., 1998b). Humans also harvest kelp directly or benefit from the fisheries or shellfisheries that they support.
Many of the organisms living amongst kelp forest are rare, unusual or poorly studied. Kelps are the major primary producers in UK marine coastal waters producing nearly 75 percent of the net carbon fixed annually on the shoreline on the coastal euphotic zone (Birkett et al., 1998b). The EIR.LhypR biotope also includes the sub-biotope EIR.LhypR.Loch which is restricted to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and is therefore considered nationally scarce.
This review can be cited as follows:
Tyler-Walters, H. 2005. Laminaria hyperborea with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed infralittoral rock.. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 22/07/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatimportance.php?habitatid=171&code=1997>