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information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Caryophyllia (Caryophyllia) smithii and sponges with Pentapora foliacea, Porella compressa and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock

03-04-2018

Summary

UK and Ireland classification

UK and Ireland classification

Description

This variant is typically found on the upper faces and vertical sides of wave-exposed bedrock or boulders subject to moderately strong to weak tidal streams. The fauna is often sparse with the frequently observed Echinus esculentusgiving it a grazed appearance, but the community may also be affected by violent storm action working into deep water during winter storms. Despite this spartan appearance, the community is relatively diverse and contains a wide range of sponges, hydroids, bryozoans and echinoderms. This variant is found on open coasts or offshore, and is characterized by the cup-coral Caryophyllia smithiiAlcyonium digitatum, the sea urchin Echinus esculentus, large specimens of the sponge Cliona celata, encrusting bryozoans and encrusting red algae. Although this variant tends to occur in deep water (depth range of 20-30m), a high degree of water clarity allows some red algae to grow at these depths. Other species recorded include large specimens of Haliclona viscosa, the bryozoans Parasmittina trispinosaPorella compressa andPentapora foliacea, the sea cucumbers Holothuria forskali and Aslia lefevrei and sparse hydroids such as Abietinaria abietinaNemertesia antenninaNemertesia ramosa and Halecium halecinum. Anemones such as Corynactis viridis,Sagartia elegans and Urticina felina are also frequently seen. Various other species characteristic of wave-exposed rock include the sponges Pachymatisma johnstoniaStelligera stuposa, the starfish Luidia ciliarisMarthasterias glacialis,Asterias rubensHenricia oculata, the crinoid Antedon bifida, the barnacle Balanus crenatus, the top shell Calliostoma zizyphinum and the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter. The majority of the records within this variant originate from the west coast of Ireland.

Depth range

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Additional information

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Sensitivity reviewHow is sensitivity assessed?

Explanation

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Species indicative of sensitivity

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Physical Pressures

No sensitivity data available

Chemical Pressures

No sensitivity data available

Biological Pressures

No sensitivity data available

Additional information

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Citation

This review can be cited as:

Readman, J.A.J., 2016. [Caryophyllia (Caryophyllia) smithii] and sponges with [Pentapora foliacea], [Porella compressa] and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 18-06-2018]. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitat/detail/1128

Last Updated: 06/07/2016