Biodiversity & Conservation

Seaweeds in sediment (sand or gravel)-floored eulittoral rockpools



Image Tom Mercer - Seaweeds in sediment (sand or gravel)-floored eulittoral rockpools. Image width ca 1 m.
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Distribution map

LR.LR.Rkp.SwSed recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

Marine natural heritage importance

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

Biotope importance

Little information on the importance of this biotope was found. However, rockpool environments, especially with macroalgal cover in the mid to lower shore, probably provide refuges for juvenile fish species, and juvenile and moulting crabs (e.g. Cancer pagurus). Low shore pools provide additional habitat for some sublittoral or sublittoral fringe species, notably the anemones Urticina felina, Corynactis viridis, Sagartia elegans and Metridium senile, and the limpet Patella ulyssiponensis (Lewis, 1964). Rockpools also allow some sublittoral fringe or lower shore species to extend their range upshore due to the removal of desiccation stress, although not as many species as might be expected, e.g. barnacles are a notably exception (Lewis, 1964). Lewis (1964) noted that deep pools in the lower shore, especially in the southwest, are rich areas for collecting the rarer species of algae. The presence of sediment in this biotope provides a small amount of sedimentary habitat in an otherwise hard substratum environment.


Rockpools are attractive mesocosms, allowing easy investigation of the resident species. Therefore, rockpools receive considerable attention from the public, environmental education schemes and scientists. Inappropriate boulder turning, netting and trampling within the pools may be detrimental (see sensitivity).

Additional information icon Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2005. Seaweeds in sediment (sand or gravel)-floored eulittoral rockpools. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 30/11/2015]. Available from: <>