Biodiversity & Conservation

Barnacles and Littorina littorea on unstable eulittoral mixed substrata



Image Paul Brazier - Boulder shore backed by low cliffs (SLR.Bllit) Image width ca 1m in foreground.
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Distribution map

LR.HLR.MusB.Sem.LitX recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Marine natural heritage importance

Listed under EC Habitats Directive
UK Biodiversity Action Plan
National importance Rare
Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1) Reefs
Large shallow inlets and bays

Biotope importance

Fish and crustaceans migrating into the intertidal zone to feed as the tide rises, are important predators of rocky shore species. Some species in the biotope may provide food for blennies that may be present in crevices. The soft sediment areas may provide some food for birds. However, the biotope is not expected to be of great importance to species not named as a part of it.


Littorina littorea has some commercial value and is gathered by hand at a number of sites, particularly in Scotland and Ireland. Much demand comes from the French market (Irish Shellfish Association AGM, 1997)

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This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. 2002. Barnacles and Littorina littorea on unstable eulittoral mixed substrata. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 01/12/2015]. Available from: <>