Biodiversity & Conservation

Laminaria digitata on moderately exposed sublittoral fringe rock



Image Keith Hiscock - Kelp forest exposed at low tide with rocky shore in background. Image width ca 3 m (foreground).
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Distribution map

IR.MIR.KR.Ldig.Ldig recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

Marine natural heritage importance

Listed under EC Habitats Directive
National importance Widespread
Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1) Reefs
Large shallow inlets and bays

Biotope importance

The biotope may provide shelter for species, such as fish fry, which migrate into it on occasion. The lumpsucker Cyclopterus lumpus lays its eggs in the biotope.


Kelp species around the world have been exploited over the years as a source of chemicals for industry. Kelp cast up on the shore has long been collected for use as an agricultural fertilizer. More recently Laminaria digitata is commercially harvested in Brittany for alginate production and in Ireland and France for sea-vegetable production (Guiry & Blunden, 1991).

Additional information icon Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. 2000. Laminaria digitata on moderately exposed sublittoral fringe rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/11/2015]. Available from: <>