Biodiversity & Conservation

Fucus ceranoides on reduced salinity eulittoral rock



Image Rohan Holt - Fucus ceranoides near freshwater stream. Image width ca 40 cm.
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Distribution map

LR.LLR.FVS.Fcer recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Text page icon Habitat description

Map icon Distribution of biotope in Britain and Ireland Recorded from the north east coast of England (Dunbar to Fast Castle Head and the Aln Estuary), south east coast, around the south west coast (River Teign, Salcombe Harbour and Kingsbridge Estuary, East and West Looe Rivers, River Fowey and the Rivers Taw and Torridge), and the coast of Wales including the Menai Strait. The only record for Ireland is in Donegal Bay.
National importance Scarce

Text page icon Description of biotope

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

Bedrock and stable boulders in the eulittoral zone that are subject to reduced salinity may be characterized by the horned wrack Fucus ceranoides. As this fucoid is more tolerant of reduced salinity than the other fucoids, Fucus ceranoides tends to replace Fucus spiralis, Fucus vesiculosus and Ascophyllum nodosum towards the upper reaches of estuaries and sea lochs. This biotope may, however, still contain other fucoids, although Fucus ceranoides always dominates. Species richness is typically low in this biotope. Since areas of bedrock and stable boulder are generally scarce within estuarine systems, this community is more commonly encountered on stable mixed substrata (see SLR.FcerX). (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information

The community includes fewer species when compared with open coast fucoid dominated shores. There are usually no limpets, or if present, occur only in very low numbers. Barnacles present are predominantly Semibalanus balanoides, but Elminius modestus is also present.

This review can be cited as follows:

Budd, G.C. 2007. Fucus ceranoides on reduced salinity eulittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 01/12/2015]. Available from: <>