BIOTIC Species Information for Saccorhiza polyschides
Researched byNicola White Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandRecorded from the all coasts of Britain and Ireland, but absent from Northumberland to the Solent.
Global distributionRecorded from the coast of Norway as far north as Rorvik. It extends south to Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, and Morocco as far as Cape Jubi. It also penetrates into the eastern Mediterranean and there are isolated reports from the coast of Italy.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range0 -35m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information
  • Saccorhiza polyschides colonizes abraded surfaces such as sand-scoured rocks or boulders that are mobile in winter and is characteristic of much disturbed substrata.
  • Plants grow to a maximum depth of 35 metres in Cornwall. The lower depth limit of the plants may be controlled by grazing from the sea urchin %Echinus esculentus%. When urchins have been removed, the lower limit of Saccorhiza polyschides has been found to extend by 3m.
  • The species is not found in areas of reduced salinity. Lowered salinity reduces the rate of development and growth is irreversibly inhibited below 9 psu. The species competes for space with %Laminaria hyperborea% and the upper limit of Saccorhiza polyschides is related to the lower limit of %Laminaria hyperborea%. Where %Laminaria hyperborea% is absent the species may extend up to the extreme low water springs mark.

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Biological zoneSublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Wave exposureModerately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Ultra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowVery Strong (>6 kn)
Strong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Norton, 1970, Norton & Burrows, 1969, Birkett et al., 1998(b), Norton & South, 1969, Hardy & Guiry, 2003,
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