Biodiversity & Conservation

Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds with hydroids and echinoderms in deeper infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand

SS.SMp.Mrl.Pcal.Nmix


IGS.Phy.Hec

Image Sarah Fowler - Maerl bed in Loch Gairloch, Highland. Image width ca 2 m in foreground.
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Distribution map

SS.SMp.Mrl.Pcal.Nmix recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)


  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP
  • OSPAR

Habitat sensitivity

Physical Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Substratum Loss High Very low / none Very High Major decline Moderate
Smothering High Very low / none Very High Major decline High
Increase in suspended sediment High Very low / none Very High Decline Moderate
Decrease in suspended sediment
Desiccation High Very low / none Very High Major decline Moderate
Increase in emergence regime High Very low / none Very High Major decline Moderate
Decrease in emergence regime
Increase in water flow rate High Moderate Moderate Minor decline Moderate
Decrease in water flow rate
Increase in temperature Intermediate Moderate Moderate Decline High
Decrease in temperature
Increase in turbidity Intermediate Very low / none High Minor decline Moderate
Decrease in turbidity
Increase in wave exposure High Moderate Moderate Decline Moderate
Decrease in wave exposure
Noise Low Very high Very low No change Moderate
Visual Presence Tolerant Not relevant Not sensitive No change High
Abrasion & physical disturbance High Very low / none Very High Major decline Moderate
Displacement High Moderate Moderate Minor decline Low

Chemical Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Synthetic compound contamination Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient Information Not relevant
Heavy metal contamination Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient Information Not relevant
Hydrocarbon contamination Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient Information Not relevant
Radionuclide contamination Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient information Insufficient Information Not relevant
Changes in nutrient levels Low Very high Very low No change Low
Increase in salinity High Very low / none Very High Major decline Low
Decrease in salinity
Changes in oxygenation High Very low / none Very High Major decline Low

Biological Factors

Click factor name to view rationale Intolerance Recoverability Sensitivity Species Richness Evidence / Confidence
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasites Intermediate Moderate Moderate Moderate
Introduction of non-native species Intermediate Insufficient information High Decline Moderate
Extraction of this species High Very low / none Very High Major decline High
Extraction of other species Intermediate Moderate Moderate Decline High

Species used to indicate biotope intolerance

Physical factors

Phymatolithon calcareum
Key structural
Nemertesia ramosa
Important characterizing
Neopentadactyla mixta
Important characterizing
Substratum LossHighHighHigh
SmotheringHighIntermediateLow
Increase in suspended sedimentHighIntermediateHigh
Decrease in suspended sediment
DesiccationHighHighHigh
Increase in emergence regimeHighHighHigh
Decrease in emergence regime
Increase in water flow rateIntermediateIntermediateHigh
Decrease in water flow rate
Increase in temperatureIntermediateInsufficient informationIntermediate
Decrease in temperature
Increase in turbidityIntermediateTolerantTolerant
Decrease in turbidity
Increase in wave exposureIntermediateHighHigh
Decrease in wave exposure
NoiseTolerantTolerantLow
Visual PresenceTolerantTolerantTolerant
Abrasion & physical disturbanceHighIntermediateIntermediate
DisplacementTolerantHighTolerant

Chemical factors

Phymatolithon calcareum
Key structural
Nemertesia ramosa
Important characterizing
Neopentadactyla mixta
Important characterizing
Synthetic compound contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Hydrocarbon contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Radionuclide contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Changes in nutrient levelsLowInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Increase in salinityNot relevantInsufficient informationHigh
Decrease in salinityLow
Changes in oxygenationTolerantInsufficient informationLow

Biological factors

Phymatolithon calcareum
Key structural
Nemertesia ramosa
Important characterizing
Neopentadactyla mixta
Important characterizing
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesIntermediateInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Introduction of non-native speciesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Extraction of this speciesIntermediateNot relevantNot relevant
Extraction of other speciesNot relevantTolerantIntermediate

Species used to indicate biotope recoverability

Physical factors

Phymatolithon calcareum
Key structural
Nemertesia ramosa
Important characterizing
Neopentadactyla mixta
Important characterizing
Substratum LossVery low / noneModerateInsufficient information
SmotheringVery low / noneVery highInsufficient information
Increase in suspended sedimentVery low / noneImmediateInsufficient information
Decrease in suspended sediment
DesiccationVery low / noneModerateInsufficient information
Increase in emergence regimeVery low / noneModerateInsufficient information
Decrease in emergence regime
Increase in water flow rateModerateHighInsufficient information
Decrease in water flow rate
Increase in temperatureModerateInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Decrease in temperature
Increase in turbidityModerateNot relevantInsufficient information
Decrease in turbidity
Increase in wave exposureModerateModerateInsufficient information
Decrease in wave exposure
NoiseNot relevantNot relevantInsufficient information
Visual PresenceNot relevantNot relevantNot relevant
Abrasion & physical disturbanceVery low / noneHighInsufficient information
DisplacementNot relevantModerateNot relevant

Chemical factors

Phymatolithon calcareum
Key structural
Nemertesia ramosa
Important characterizing
Neopentadactyla mixta
Important characterizing
Synthetic compound contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Heavy metal contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Hydrocarbon contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Radionuclide contaminationInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Changes in nutrient levelsVery highInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Increase in salinityNot relevantInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Decrease in salinityVery high
Changes in oxygenationNot relevantInsufficient informationInsufficient information

Biological factors

Phymatolithon calcareum
Key structural
Nemertesia ramosa
Important characterizing
Neopentadactyla mixta
Important characterizing
Introduction of microbial pathogens/parasitesModerateInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Introduction of non-native speciesInsufficient informationInsufficient informationInsufficient information
Extraction of this speciesModerateNot relevantNot relevant
Extraction of other speciesNot relevantNot relevantInsufficient information

This review can be cited as follows:

Jackson, A. 2006. Phymatolithon calcareum maerl beds with hydroids and echinoderms in deeper infralittoral clean gravel or coarse sand. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 31/10/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/habitatsensitivity.php?habitatid=64&code=2004>