Biodiversity & Conservation

Sabellaria alveolata reefs on sand-abraded eulittoral rock



Image Rohan Holt - Sabellaria alveolata reefs on sand abraded eulittoral rocks. Image width ca 150 cm.
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Distribution map

LS.LBR.Sab.Salv recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

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 Sabellaria alveolata Honeycomb worm
Important structural Fucus serratus Toothed wrack
Important functional Littorina littorea Common periwinkle


Sabellaria alveolata is the key structural species, giving the name to the biotope. Fucus serratus has been included as the most frequent and abundant of the characterizing species in the biotope. It contributes to biotope sensitivity when attached to Sabellaria alveolata by creating extra surface area exposed to wave action or water flow. Littorina littorea is the most frequent algal grazer in the biotope and can contribute to the regulation of levels of epiflora.

Additional information

This review can be cited as follows:

Jackson, A. 2005. Sabellaria alveolata reefs on sand-abraded eulittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 26/11/2015]. Available from: <>