Biodiversity & Conservation

Corallina officinalis on very exposed lower eulittoral rock



Image Keith Hiscock - Steep bedrock shore with Corallina officinalis (ELR.Coff). Image width ca 1 m.
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Distribution map

LR.HLR.FR.Coff recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

For a list of 2004 characterising species please see the JNCC website.

Species indicative of sensitivity

To assess the sensitivity of the biotope, the sensitivity of component species is reviewed. Those species that are considered to be particularly indicative of the sensitivity of the biotope, and for which research has been undertaken in detail are shown below (see selection criteria). The biology of other component species of the biotope is also taken into account wherever information is known to the researcher.

Species found especially in this biotope

  • Corallina officinalis
  • Patella ulyssiponensis
Community Importance Species name Common Name
Key structural Corallina officinalis Coral weed
Important functional Idotea pelagica An isopod
Important functional Gammaridae Gammarid amphipods


Corallina officinalis is the dominant characterizing species within the biotope and provides substratum and refuges for a diverse fauna. Therefore, the community is dependant on the presence of Corallina officinalis and it has been included as key structuring. Epiphytic grazers, such as amphipods, isopods small gastropods probably keep the turf free of epiphytic algae and are important functional species. Reference has been made to reviews of Hyale prevosti to represent the sensitivity of amphipods and small crustaceans. Similarly reference was made to Ahnfeltia plicata and Chondrus crispus to represent the sensitivity of characterizing intertidal red algae.

Additional information

The MNCR recorded 104 species within this biotope, although not all species occurred in all records of the biotope (JNCC, 1999). Detailed lists of the fauna of coralline turfs are given by Hagerman (1968), Dommasnes (1968, 1969), Hicks (1985), Grahame & Hanna (1989), Crisp & Mwaiseje (1989), and Bamber (1988, 1993).

This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2005. Corallina officinalis on very exposed lower eulittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25/11/2015]. Available from: <>