Biodiversity & Conservation

Ceramium sp. and piddocks on eulittoral fossilized peat



Image Rohan Holt - Piddock bored rock with red algae. Image width ca 1 m (foreground).
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Distribution map

LR.HLR.FR.RPid 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 Few records of the biotope exist; its description is derived from sites in north Norfolk (Tichwell Marsh, Brancaster) and Cardigan Bay (Borth, north of Aberystwyth).
National importance Rare

Text page icon Description of biotope

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

Outcrops of fossilized peat in the eulittoral are soft enough to allow a variety of piddocks (such as Barnea candida and Petricola pholadiformis) to bore into them. The surface of the peat is characterized by a dense algal mat, predominantly Ceramium spp. but also with Ulva spp. and Polysiphonia spp. Damp areas amongst the algal mat are covered by aggregations of the sand mason worm Lanice conchilega and the fan worm Sabella pavonina. The anemone Sagartia troglodytes and the crabs Carcinus maenas and Cancer pagurus occur in crevices in the peat. Small pools on the peat may contain hydroids, such as Obelia longissima and Kirchenpaueria pinnata, the brown alga Dictyota dichotoma and the prawn Crangon crangon. [Description derived largely from sites in north Norfolk. Further records of this biotope required]. (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. 2008. Ceramium sp. and piddocks on eulittoral fossilized peat. 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: <>