Biodiversity & Conservation

Laminaria hyperborea with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed infralittoral rock.



Image Anon. - Laminaria hyperborea forest with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed upper infralittoral rock (EIR.LhypR.Ft). Image width ca 3 m in foreground.
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Distribution map

IR.EIR.KFaR.LhypR recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

Text page icon Habitat description

Map icon Distribution of biotope in Britain and Ireland Recorded from exposed coasts in the Shetlands and Orkney, the north east coast of England, the western English Channel, the Isles of Scilly, Lizard peninsula, the Pembrokeshire coast, the Llyn Peninsula, the Isle of Man, the west coast of Scotland and St Kilda. EIR.Lhyp.R is most likely found in Northern Ireland as well (Kain, pers. comm.) although no records were found.
National importance Not available

Text page icon Description of biotope

For a full description of this biotope including characterizing species, distribution, survey information and references visit JNCC

Very exposed and exposed upper infralittoral bedrock or large boulders characterized by the kelp Laminaria hyperborea, beneath which is a dense turf of foliose red seaweeds. Three variations of this biotope have been described: the upper infralittoral kelp forest (EIR.LhypR.Ft), the kelp park below (EIR.LhypR.Pk) and a third type of kelp forest that is characterized by a mixture of Laminaria hyperborea and Laminaria ochroleuca (EIR.LhypR.Loch). The fauna of EIR.LhypR biotopes is markedly less abundant than kelp forests in areas of greater wave surge (EIR.LhypFa); sponges, anemones and polyclinid ascidians may be present, though never at high abundance. Beneath the under-storey of red algae the rock surface is generally covered with encrusting coralline algae. (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information

This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2005. Laminaria hyperborea with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed infralittoral rock.. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 30/11/2015]. Available from: <>