Features of littoral rock

English name: Features of littoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A1.4
Relation to Annex I habitat types (EU Habitats Directive)

Description (English)

Littoral rock features include rockpools (A1.41, A1.42), ephemeral algae (A1.45) and caves (A1.44) in the intertidal zone (the area of the shore between high and low tides). These features are present throughout the littoral rock zone from the upper limit at the top of of the lichen zone and the lower limit by the top of the laminarian kelp zone. These features can be found on most rocky shores regardless of wave exposure. Lichens can be found in the supralittoral zone on shores with suitable substratum. The lichen band is wider and more distinct on more exposed shores. Rockpools occur where the topography of the shore allows seawater to be retained within depressions in the bedrock producing 'pools' on the retreat of the tide. As these rockpool communities are permanently submerged they are not directly affected by height on the shore and normal rocky shore zonation patterns do not apply allowing species from the sublittoral to survive. Ephemeral seaweeds occur on disturbed littoral rock in the lower to upper shore. The shaded nature of caves and overhangs diminishes the amount of desiccation suffered by biota during periods of low tides which allows certain species to proliferate. In addition, the amount of scour, wave surge, sea spray and penetrating light determines the unique community assemblages found in upper, mid and lower shore caves, and on overhangs on the lower shore. Non-tidal areas irregularly exposed by wind action (hydrolittoral) with hard substrata are also included here. Note that lichens and algae crusts in the supralittoral zone are coastal habitats (B3.11).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Not available

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 200112 11.295 Mediolittoral rock pools narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 200112 11.294 Mediolittoral cave and overhang communities narrower
CORINE Land Cover 4.2.3. Intertidal flats n/a
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LR.FLR Features of littoral rock same
Barcelona Convention 199812 I.4.1.2. Pools with variable salinity (mediolittoral enclave) narrower
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A1.4 Features of littoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A1.5 Rockpools narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A1.6 Littoral caves and overhangs narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A1.6 Littoral caves and overhangs narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A1.5 Rockpools narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A1.6 Littoral caves and overhangs narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A1.5 Rockpools narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A1.6 Littoral rock caves and overhangs narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A1.5 Littoral rockpools narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A9.1 Littoral rock caves and overhangs narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A1.5 Littoral rock pools narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 11.294 Mediolittoral cave and overhang communities narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 11.295 Mediolittoral rock pools narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 11.294 Mediolittoral cave and overhang communities same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 11.295 Mediolittoral rock pools not defined
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 11.294   narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 11.295   narrower
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 11.295   not defined
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 18.15   not defined
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LR.Rkp Rockpools narrower
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) RKP   narrower
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100