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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, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock

03-04-2018

Summary

UK and Ireland classification

UK and Ireland classification

Description

This biotope typically occurs on the upper and vertical faces of wave-exposed, moderately strong to weakly tide-swept, circalittoral bedrock or boulders, with a water depth range of 20-30m. This often silty biotope has a typically sparse fauna, appearing grazed, and is characterized by common cup corals Caryophyllia smithii, frequent Alcyonium digitatumand occasional urchins Echinus esculentus. There may be occasional large growths of the sponge Cliona celata,Haliclona viscosaPachymatisma johnstonia and the axinellid sponge Stelligera stuposa. Echinoderms form a prominent feature of the fauna within this biotope, with species such as Marthasterias glacialisAsterias rubensLuidia ciliaris,Henricia oculataHolothuria forskaliAntedon bifida and Aslia lefevrei present. Bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa and encrusting red algae cover the rock/boulder surface. The bryozoan Porella compressa may also be recorded occasionally. Isolated clumps of hydroids feature species such as Nemertesia antenninaNemertesia ramosa,Abietinaria abietinaHalecium halecinum and Sertularella gayi. Other species observed include the anemone Corynactis viridisUrticina felinaSagartia elegansCalliostoma zizyphinumBalanus crenatus and Spirobranchus triqueter. Two variants within this biotope have been distinguished: CarSp.PenPcom and CarSp.Bri. While CarSp.PenPcom tends to have the bryozoans Pentapora foliacea and P. compressa, while CarSp.Bri features a dynamic community of brittlestars covering the seabed in a dense mat. Ophiothrix fragilis is usually the dominant species in shallow water but tends to be replaced by Ophiocomina nigra in deeper water.

Depth range

20-30 m, 30-50 m

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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Bibliography

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Citation

This review can be cited as:

Stamp, T.E., 2016. [Caryophyllia (Caryophyllia) smithii], sponges 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/6

Last Updated: 06/07/2016