|Basic Information||Biotope classification||Ecology||Habitat preferences and distribution||Species composition||Sensitivity||Importance|
Image Sarah Fowler - Maerl bed in Loch Gairloch, Highland. Image width ca 2 m in foreground.
Image copyright information
SS.IGS.Mrl.Phy.HEc recorded () and expected () distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)
EC Habitats Directive
UK Biodiversity Action Plan
|Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1)||Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time
Large shallow inlets and bays
The biotope is highly important for other species, with high structural complexity and biodiversity. Mobile grazers and foragers can move in and out of the biotope to feed.
Maerl beds are included within the marine habitat 'sand banks which are slightly covered by seawater at all times' listed in Annex I of the EC Habitats Directive. Phymatolithon calcareum, the key structural species of the biotope is included within Annex V(b) of the EC Habitats Directive. Annex V(b) indicates plant species that are of community interest whose taking in the wild and exploitation may be subject to management measures. This species is also on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan long list.
This review can be cited as follows:
Jackson, A. 2006. Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds with hydroids and echinoderms in deeper infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 31/03/2015]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatimportance.php?habitatid=64&code=1997>