Biodiversity & Conservation

Barnacles and fucoids (moderately exposed shores)


Barnacles and fucoids (moderately exposed shores)
Distribution map

LR.MLR.BF 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.

Community Importance Species name Common Name
Key structural Fucus serratus Toothed wrack
Key structural Ascophyllum nodosum Egg wrack
Key structural Semibalanus balanoides An acorn barnacle
Key functional Patella vulgata Common limpet
Important other Hyale prevostii An amphipod


The seaweeds Fucus serratus and Ascophyllum nodosum and the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides are the key structural species for barnacle and fucoid shores. Patella vulgata is the dominant grazer in the biotope and contributes to the regulation of algal patches. The amphipod Hyale prevostii has been included because it is a characteristic species of fucoid dominated rocky shores, an important mesograzer and because amphipods are generally regarded as sensitive species. In undertaking an assessment of sensitivity of this biotope, account is taken of knowledge of the biology of all characterizing species in the biotope. However, the selected 'indicative species' are particularly important in undertaking the assessment because they have been subject to detailed research.

Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. 2000. Barnacles and fucoids (moderately exposed shores). 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: <>