BIOTIC Species Information for Pelvetia canaliculata
Researched byNicola White Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Dagmar Stengel
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandAll coasts of Britain and Ireland
Global distributionNorway, Iceland, UK, Ireland, Atlantic coast of France, Spain and Portugal.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeNot relevant
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information
  • Pelvetia canaliculata is the highest living fucoid on the shore. The upper limits of the species distribution are controlled by its physiological tolerances, whereas it's lower limits on the shore are controlled by its ability to compete with %Fucus spiralis%. Pelvetia canaliculata is capable of growing further down the shore but it is out-competed by faster growing species such as %Fucus spiralis% and is also heavily grazed. However, this is one of the few algae which requires regular aerial exposure to survive and prolonged submersion, such as in rockpools actually kills the algae.
  • In moderately exposed conditions Pelvetia canaliculata is capable of growing above the high water mark, where it is supplied with water through spray and waves. In sheltered conditions it grows further down the shore where it will be immersed by spring tides but often not covered by neaps. It has been estimated that some plants spend up to 90 percent of their time out of the water (Fish & Fish, 1996).
  • Pelvetia canaliculata lives in some lower salinity sites although the balance between the algae and the obligate endophytic fungus Mycosphaerella ascophylli seems to be affected (D. Stengel pers. comm.)

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Biological zoneLower Littoral Fringe
Wave exposureModerately 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 Subrahmanyan, 1960, Fish & Fish, 1996, Hardy & Guiry, 2003, NBN, 2002,
About MarLIN | Contact, Enquiries & Feedback | Terms & Conditions | Funding | Glossary | Accessibility | Privacy | Sponsorship

Creative Commons License BIOTIC (Biological Traits Information Catalogue) by MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own terms and conditions and they may or may not be available for reuse. Based on a work at