BIOTIC Species Information for Lithothamnion glaciale
Researched byAngus Jackson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandMost abundant in the sea lochs of western Scotland, Orkney and Shetland. Recorded along the east coast south to Flamborough. Occasional on the south coast, Wales, Isle of Man and Lundy. Sparse records from north and south-western Ireland.
Global distributionIn the NE Atlantic from the British Isles north to Arctic Russia including the Faeroe Isles, Iceland and western Baltic. In the NW Atlantic from Cape Cod north to Arctic Canada and Greenland. Also northern Japan and China in the western Pacific.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range0-70 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information
  • Information on distribution of Lithothamnion glaciale in Fair Isle is available at
  • Detail about British Isles distribution is found in Hall-Spencer (1985).
  • Most abundant from 6-30 metres (Suneson, 1943). In the clear waters around northern Japan it may be found as deep as 60-70 m. Depth range is highly dependent on turbidity although temperature plays a role. Below 4-6 °C growth rate has little dependence on light availability (Adey, 1970).
  • Occasionally found in shallow waters and even in large tide pools on the shore (Adey, 1970).
  • Deposits from maerl beds can sometimes form quite extensive white 'coral sand' beaches, such as those in the Western Isles and Orkney.

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Gravel / shingle
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Biological zoneUpper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Wave exposureExposed
Moderately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Adey et al., 1976, Suneson, 1943, Rosenvinge, 1917, Adey & Adey, 1973, Adey, 1966, Adey, 1970, Irvine & Chamberlain, 1994, Birkett et al., 1998(a), Hall-Spencer, 1995, JNCC, 1999, Hardy & Guiry, 2003,
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