Fucus serratus, sponges and ascidians on tide-swept lower eulittoral rock
Marine natural heritage importance
UK Biodiversity Action Plan
|Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1)
Large shallow inlets and bays
Within this biotope, at least two of the algal species are known to be targeted for extraction, namely Fucus serratus
and Chondrus crispus
. Fucus serratus
is collected, dried and used as a soil additive. Various fucalean algae are used in the production of alginates and these are used widely in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Chondrus crispus
is harvested commercially in Ireland, Spain, France, Portugal and North America for the extraction of carrageenan (Guiry & Blunden, 1991). In Ireland, harvesting has generally remained sustainable through pickers developing an intuitive feel for the annual cycle of local stocks and certain practices which involve pulling only the bushy top half of the frond off leaving the base and holdfast behind (Morrissey et al.
, 2001). The gelling and thickening properties of carrageenan are used widely in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries (see MarLIN
review). Mastocarpus stellatus
may also be collected with Chondrus crispus
. It is known to what extent Fucus serratus
is collected in Britain and Ireland, although if large sections of the canopy are removed, this will probably have an adverse effect on the biotope (see 'Sensitivity').
This review can be cited as follows:
Fucus serratus, sponges and ascidians on tide-swept lower eulittoral rock.
Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line].
Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.
Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatimportance.php?habitatid=42&code=1997>