Sargassum muticum in eulittoral rockpools

English name: Sargassum muticum in eulittoral rockpools

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A1.4121

Description (English)

Shallow rockpools throughout the eulittoral zone on exposed to moderately exposed shores dominated by the brown seaweed Sargassum muticum and the red seaweed Corallina officinalis. Other brown seaweeds, including the kelp Laminaria saccharina, Laminaria digitata and the wrack Fucus serratus may occur along with Dictyota dichotoma, but S. muticum always dominates. Underneath the canopy is a rich red seaweed community which includes both foliose and filamentous species such as Palmaria palmata, Chondrus crispus, Lomentaria articulata, Osmundea pinnatifida, Ceramium spp. and Dumontia contorta. Encrusting coralline algae and Hildenbrandia rubra often cover the rock surface. The foliose green seaweed Ulva lactuca is usually present in high abundance growing on the mobile gravel and boulders on the bottom of the rockpools, often along with other ephemeral green seaweeds such as Cladophora rupestris and Enteromorpha intestinalis. The winkle Littorina littorea, the limpet Patella vulgata and the top shells Gibbula cineraria and Gibbula umbilicalis can often be found grazing on the biofilm of the rock surface or the seaweeds. Crevices and fissures in the rock provide cover for anemones such as Actinia equina and Anemonia viridis, cover while the prawn Palaemon serratus often can be found in large numbers hiding underneath the seaweed canopy or along the boulders on the bottom. Some sand scour can affect these rockpools.
Situation: Rockpools throughout the eulittoral zone in bedrock on exposed and moderately exposed shores. The non-native S. muticum is an opportunistic alga which has spread extensively around the south-west coast of Britain since its introduction to UK waters in the early 1970s from the northern Pacific ocean. It is spreading to other parts of the UK. It can dominate rockpools (and other habitats), often to the exclusion of other native species such as Laminaria spp. and fucoids.
Temporal variation: As all the available records are from the south-west of Britain some changes in the species composition can be expected from more northern sites.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Actinia equina
Invertebrates Anemonia viridis
Algae Chondrus crispus
Algae Cladophora rupestris
Algae Corallina officinalis
Algae Dictyota dichotoma
Algae Dumontia contorta
Algae Enteromorpha intestinalis
Algae Fucus serratus
Invertebrates Gibbula cineraria
Invertebrates Gibbula umbilicalis
Algae Hildenbrandia rubra
Algae Laminaria digitata
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Invertebrates Littorina littorea
Algae Lomentaria articulata
Algae Osmundea pinnatifida
Invertebrates Palaemon serratus
Algae Palmaria palmata
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Algae Sargassum muticum
Algae Ulva lactuca
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Actinia equina Invertebrates
Anemonia viridis Invertebrates
Chondrus crispus Algae
Cladophora rupestris Algae
Corallina officinalis Algae
Dictyota dichotoma Algae
Dumontia contorta Algae
Enteromorpha intestinalis Algae
Fucus serratus Algae
Gibbula cineraria Invertebrates
Gibbula umbilicalis Invertebrates
Hildenbrandia rubra Algae
Laminaria digitata Algae
Laminaria saccharina Algae
Littorina littorea Invertebrates
Lomentaria articulata Algae
Osmundea pinnatifida Algae
Palaemon serratus Invertebrates
Palmaria palmata Algae
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Sargassum muticum Algae
Ulva lactuca Algae

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LR.FLR.Rkp.FK.Sar <I>Sargassum muticum</I> in eulittoral rockpools source
CORINE Land Cover 4.2.3. Intertidal flats n/a
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A1.4121 Sargassum muticum in eulittoral rockpools same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A1.5121 Sargassum muticum in eulittoral rockpools same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A1.5121 Sargassum muticum in eulittoral rockpools same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A1.5121 Sargassum muticum in eulittoral rockpools same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LR.Rkp.FK.Sar Sargassum muticum in eulittoral rockpools same
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