Biodiversity & Conservation

Faunal and algal crusts, Echinus esculentus, sparse Alcyonium digitatum and grazing-tolerant fauna on moderately exposed circalittoral rock

CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr.Pom


MCR.FaAlC

Image David Connor - Faunal and algal crusts, Echinus esculentus, sparse Alcyonium digitatum, Abietinaria abietina and other grazing-tolerant fauna on moderately exposed circalittoral rock. Image width ca 1m.
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Distribution map

CR.MCR.EcCr.FaAlCr.Pom 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 Shetland, Orkney, south east Scotland and north east England, Youghal Bay, Ireland and the west coast of Scotland.
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

Moderately exposed circalittoral rock in slight tides with a rather barren appearance (reminiscent of a brittlestar bed after the brittlestars have moved elsewhere - brittlestars Ophiothrix fragilis recorded in moderate abundance). Can be sand/sediment scoured or grazed. Usually small Alcyonium digitatum, some Abietinaria abietina and sparse Nemertesia spp. present. Also Urticina felina, often associated with patches of muddy shell gravel and sand, or on North Sea coasts Urticina eques. Most of rock surface with coralline or non-coralline red algal crusts as well as patches of bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa. Echinus esculentus common in some areas and Pomatoceros triqueter found throughout, especially on vertical faces. The richer examples of this biotope also have Caryophyllia smithii, Antedon bifida, delicate hydroids, ascidians such as Ascidia mentula and holothurians such as Aslia lefevrei and Pawsonia saxicola, which may appear seasonally, in more cryptic habitats. Regional variants occur - e.g. with Thuiaria thuja and Bolocera tuediae on North Sea coasts. Under-boulders and crevices often have Pawsonia saxicola, Galathea spp., encrusting sponges, terebellids, Pododesmus patelliformis and Munida rugosa. (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information

None entered


This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2002. Faunal and algal crusts, Echinus esculentus, sparse Alcyonium digitatum and grazing-tolerant fauna on moderately exposed circalittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 28/08/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatsbasicinfo.php?habitatid=337&code=2004>