Biodiversity & Conservation

Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata



Image Anon. - View along shore with sea wall in background. Image width ca 10 m (middle).
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Distribution map

LR.LLR.F.Fves.X 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 Present on all coasts of the British Isles.
National importance Common

Text page icon Description of biotope

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

Sheltered and very sheltered mid eulittoral pebbles and cobbles lying on sediment are typically characterized by Fucus vesiculosus. SLR.FvesX is usually subject to some variability in salinity from riverine input or, in more marine conditions, the habitat consists predominantly of smaller stones which are too unstable for Ascophyllum nodosum to colonise to any great extent (compare with SLR.AscX). This biotope typically differs from SLR.Fves in having a less dense canopy and reduced richness of epifaunal species, presumably as a result of the increased siltation, variable salinity and lack of stable substrata. In addition, the sediment between patches of hard substrata often contains the lugworm Arenicola marina, cockles Cerastoderma edule or the ragworm Hediste diversicolor. Littorinids, particularly Littorina littorea, commonly graze on the algae. Ephemeral algae such as Ulva spp. are often present, especially on any more mobile pebbles during the summer. Limpets are less common than in SLR.AscX, because of the limited availability of larger rocks. (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Budd, G.C. 2002. Fucus vesiculosus on mid eulittoral mixed substrata. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/11/2015]. Available from: <>