Biodiversity & Conservation

Ascophyllum nodosum with epiphytic sponges and ascidians on variable salinity infralittoral rock

IR.SIR.Lag.AscSAs


SIR.AscSAs

Image Sue Scott - Ascophyllum nodosum with epiphytes (SIR.AscSAs). Image width ca 30 cm.
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Distribution map

IR.SIR.Lag.AscSAs 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 Rare
Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1) Reefs
Lagoons

Biotope importance

Algal patches may also act as nursery grounds for various species and birds may also feed here because the invertebrates within the macroalgal canopies may be an important food source.

Exploitation

Ascophyllum nodosum is harvested in Ireland and Scotland for use in alginates, fertilisers and for the manufacture of seaweed meal for animal and human consumption. Around 32,000 t is harvested per year. The species is also harvested in Europe, Canada and the north-west Atlantic. Poor resource management and over-exploitation have led to severely depleted populations in many regions. These factors, together with the long-recognised shortage of sporelings (David, 1943) and the failure of the species to recolonize denuded areas for decades, illustrate the need to have good management strategies and reseeding techniques.

Additional information icon Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. 2001. Ascophyllum nodosum with epiphytic sponges and ascidians on variable salinity infralittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 23/11/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatimportance.php?habitatid=328&code=1997>