Biodiversity & Conservation

Mytilus edulis and Fucus vesiculosus on moderately exposed mid eulittoral rock



Image David Connor - Mytilus and fucoids. Image width ca 80 cm.
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Distribution map

LR.MLR.MusF.MytFves 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 the Shetland Isles, the north east coast of England, isolated recordings on the Cornish and Welsh coasts, and almost continuously from the north Welsh coast to Luce Bay. Recorded at Rush Pier, Skerries to Malahide on the east coast of Ireland only. However, this biotope is probably under-recorded.
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

Mid eulittoral exposed to moderately exposed bedrock, often with nearby sediment, may be covered by dense large Mytilus edulis which form a band or large patches and support scattered Fucus vesiculosus and occasional red algae. This differs from mussels in the lower eulittoral (MLR.MytFR) which occur with a wider range of red algae (often in higher abundance than the mid eulittoral). Ephemeral green algae such as Ulva spp. and Ulva lactuca commonly occur on the shells of the mussels. The barnacle Semibalanus balanoides is common on both the mussel valves and on patches of bare rock, where the limpet Patella vulgata is also found, often at high abundance. The dog whelk Nucella lapillus and a range of littorinids also occur within the mussel bed. (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. Mytilus edulis and Fucus vesiculosus on moderately exposed mid eulittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 26/11/2015]. Available from: <>