information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Mytilus edulis, Fucus serratus and red seaweeds on moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock



UK and Ireland classification

UK and Ireland classification


Lower eulittoral moderately exposed bedrock covered by a dense community of large individuals of the mussel Mytilus edulis, often with a scarce covering of the wrack Fucus serratus and red seaweeds. The red seaweeds may include Palmaria palmata, Mastocarpus stellatus, Ceramium spp., Audouinella spp. and Chondrus crispus. Ephemeral green seaweeds such as Ulva intestinalis 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 whelk Nucella lapillus and the winkle Littorina littorea occur within the mussel bed, as well as the polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter and the crab Carcinus maenas. The anemone Actinia equina is present in cracks and crevices. These moist areas can be overgrown by coralline crusts (Information from Connor et al., 2004; JNCC).

Depth range

Lower shore

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Sensitivity reviewHow is sensitivity assessed?



Species indicative of sensitivity


Physical Pressures

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This review can be cited as:

Tillin, H.M. & Mainwaring, K., 2015. [Mytilus edulis], [Fucus serratus] and red seaweeds on moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 19-06-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 03/11/2015