Laminaria saccharina and/or Saccorhiza polyschides on exposed infralittoral rock

English name: Laminaria saccharina and/or Saccorhiza polyschides on exposed infralittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A3.122
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A3)

Description (English)

A forest or park of the fast-growing, opportunistic kelps Laminaria saccharina and/or Saccorhiza polyschides often occurs on seasonally unstable boulders or sand/pebble scoured infralittoral rock. The substratum varies from large boulders in exposed areas to smaller boulders and cobbles in areas of moderate wave exposure or nearby bedrock. In these cases, movement of the substratum during winter storms prevents a longer-lived forest of Laminaria hyperborea from becoming established. This biotope also develops on bedrock where it is affected by its close proximity to unstable substrata. Other fast-growing brown seaweeds such as Desmarestia viridis, Desmarestia aculeata, Cutleria multifida and Dictyota dichotoma are often present. Some L. hyperborea plants may occur in this biotope, but they are typically small since the plants do not survive many years. The kelp stipes are usually epiphytised by red seaweeds such as Delesseria sanguinea and Phycodrys rubens. Other red seaweeds present beneath the kelp canopy include Plocamium cartilagineum, Nitophyllum punctatum, Callophyllis laciniata and Cryptopleura ramosa. Encrusting algae often form a prominent cover on the rock surfaces, including red, brown and coralline crusts. Faunal richness and diversity is generally low compared to the more stable L. hyperborea kelp forest and park communities (A3.115). Where some protection is afforded the anthozoan Alcyonium digitata can occur in addition to the more robust species such as the tube-building worm Pomatoceros triqueter. Mobile species include the to shell Gibbula cineraria and Calliostoma zizyphinum and the sea urchin Echinus esculentus. The hydroid Obelia geniculata and the bryozoan Membranipora membranacea can often be found colonising the kelp fronds.
Situation: This biotope can be found below the L. hyperborea zone (units A3.113 or A3.115), especially where close to a rock/ sand interface (where it is subject to sand/pebble scour in winter). Where this biotope occurs on bedrock, not scoured by mobile sediment, it is thought to occur as a result of intense wave action in winter storms which is too severe to allow L. hyperborea to develop and remain in shallow water.
Temporal variation: Due to the disturbed nature of this biotope there can be significant changes in the structure of the community. Coralline and brown algal crusts with sparse kelp plants generally dominate areas that have been recently disturbed. Diversity is low and a few species of fast-growing seaweeds can dominate the seabed. A longer established community will have larger, mixed kelp plants and a greater diversity of red seaweeds.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Callophyllis laciniata
Algae Cryptopleura ramosa
Algae Cutleria multifida
Algae Delesseria sanguinea
Algae Desmarestia aculeata
Algae Desmarestia viridis
Algae Dictyota dichotoma
Algae Laminaria hyperborea
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Algae Nitophyllum punctatum
Algae Phycodrys rubens
Algae Plocamium cartilagineum
Algae Saccorhiza polyschides
Invertebrates Calliostoma zizyphinum
Invertebrates Echinus esculentus
Invertebrates Gibbula cineraria
Invertebrates Membranipora membranacea
Invertebrates Obelia geniculata
Invertebrates Pomatoceros triqueter
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Callophyllis laciniata Algae
Cryptopleura ramosa Algae
Cutleria multifida Algae
Delesseria sanguinea Algae
Desmarestia aculeata Algae
Desmarestia viridis Algae
Dictyota dichotoma Algae
Laminaria hyperborea Algae
Laminaria saccharina Algae
Nitophyllum punctatum Algae
Phycodrys rubens Algae
Plocamium cartilagineum Algae
Saccorhiza polyschides Algae
Calliostoma zizyphinum Invertebrates
Echinus esculentus Invertebrates
Gibbula cineraria Invertebrates
Membranipora membranacea Invertebrates
Obelia geniculata Invertebrates
Pomatoceros triqueter Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 IR.HIR.KSed.LsacSac <I>Laminaria saccharina</I> and/or <I>Saccorhiza polyschides</I> on exposed infralittoral rock source
CORINE Land Cover 5.2.3. Sea and ocean n/a
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A3.122 Laminaria saccharina and/or Saccorhiza polyschides on exposed infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.116 Laminaria saccharina and/or Saccorhiza polyschides on exposed infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.116 Laminaria saccharina and/or Saccorhiza polyschides on exposed infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A3.116 Laminaria saccharina and/or Saccorhiza polyschides on exposed infralittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) EIR.KFaR.LsacSac Laminaria saccharina and/or Saccorhiza polyschides on exposed infralittoral rock same
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