Biodiversity & Conservation

Green seaweeds (Ulva spp. and Cladophora spp.) in upper shore rockpools



Image Dale Cartlidge - Green seaweeds (Enteromorpha spp. and Cladophora spp.) in upper shore rockpools Image width ca 1m.
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Distribution map

LR.LR.Rkp.G recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

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

  • Tigriopus fulvus
Community Importance Species name Common Name
Key structural Ulva intestinalis Gut weed
Key structural Cladophora rupestris A green seaweed
Important characterizing Tigriopus fulvus A copepod


Ulva intestinalis and Cladophora rupestris are important characterizing species of this biotope as they are tolerant and able to exploit the unstable conditions found in high shore rockpools. However, these macroalgae have been included as key structuring species, as they provide a habitat that supports an associated community. For instance, harpacticoid copepods feed upon Ulva intestinalis and utilize the hollow thalli as a moist refuge from desiccation when the rockpools completely dry out. Cladophora spp. also presents a substratum for colonization and a food resource. Tigriopus fulvus is included as an important characterizing species particularly well adapted to the temporal changes experienced in high shore rockpools.

Additional information

None entered

This review can be cited as follows:

Budd, G.C. 2002. Green seaweeds (Ulva spp. and Cladophora spp.) in upper shore rockpools. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 27/11/2015]. Available from: <>