Biodiversity & Conservation

Laminaria hyperborea forest with a faunal cushion (sponges and polyclinids) and foliose red seaweeds on very exposed upper infralittoral rock

IR.EIR.KFaR.LhypFa


EIR.LhypFa

Image Bernard Picton - Laminaria hyperborea forest with a faunal cushion (sponges and polyclinids) and foliose red seaweeds on very exposed upper infralittoral rock. Image width ca 20 m.
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Distribution map

IR.EIR.KFaR.LhypFa 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 Laminaria hyperborea Tangle or cuvie
Important characterizing Urticina felina Dahlia anemone
Important characterizing Alcyonium digitatum Dead man's fingers
Important characterizing Botryllus schlosseri Star ascidian
Important characterizing Delesseria sanguinea Sea beech
Important characterizing Halichondria panicea Breadcrumb sponge
Important structural Echinus esculentus Edible sea urchin

Explanation

The main structure to the community is brought about by the kelp Laminaria hyperborea which provides shade, shelter (in the holdfasts and under fronds) and a surface for attachment. The presence of extensive encrusting faunal species differentiates the biotope from other kelp biotopes. The sea urchin Echinus esculentus is listed as frequent in this biotope although severe waved action will restrict its occurrence. Nevertheless, grazing by the urchin will free space for colonization and may result in a higher diversity community. Red algae provide a conspicuous part of the biotope but one that is present in a wide range of biotopes.

Additional information

The biotope is defined by conspicuous species but is probably rich in a wide range of other mobile animal species especially amongst the foliose algae, in kelp holdfasts and attached to the kelp stipes and fronds.


This review can be cited as follows:

Hiscock, K. 2001. Laminaria hyperborea forest with a faunal cushion (sponges and polyclinids) and foliose red seaweeds on very exposed upper infralittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 22/12/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatreproduction.php?habitatid=44&code=1997>