Biodiversity & Conservation

Laminaria saccharina park on very sheltered lower infralittoral rock



Image Keith Hiscock - Algae attached to rock including Halidrys. Image width ca 60 cm.
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Distribution map

IR.SIR.K.Lsac.Pk recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

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 Echinus esculentus Edible sea urchin
Important characterizing Saccharina latissima Sugar kelp
Important characterizing Lithophyllum incrustans Encrusting coralline alga
Important characterizing Ciona intestinalis A sea squirt
Important characterizing Ophiothrix fragilis Common brittlestar


Saccharina latissima is the major canopy forming species and provides a variety of substrata for colonization whilst Lithophyllum incrustans is the major seabed substratum cover. Grazing is a key element of maintaining the community and the grazer identified as indicative of sensitivity is the sea urchin Echinus esculentus. Solitary sea squirts, Ciona intestinalis, represent the active suspension feeding elements of the fauna whilst the brittle star Ophiothrix fragilis represents passive suspension feeders.

Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Hiscock, K. 2001. Laminaria saccharina park on very sheltered lower infralittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 28/11/2015]. Available from: <>