Atlantic and Baltic rocky sea cliff and shore

Description (English)

Cliffs, together with vegetated crevices, ledges and cliff-tops along the coasts of the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean south to middle Portugal. Exposed bedrock dominates the habitat, and its very variable composition and structure determine the character of available surfaces. The height and slope of the cliffs influence the input of salt spray which, on exposed coasts, can be very high close to the sea. This combination of local climatic and topographic conditions determines the often strong zonation of crevice vegetation, grasslands and heaths found on the cliffs, with regional climate also affecting the flora. Nesting seabirds also add a distinctive nutrient-demanding element to the flora on their guano.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code N31
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Indicator species

Diagnostic species
Constant species
Dominant species
Flowering Plants Spergularia rupicola
Flowering Plants Armeria maritima
Flowering Plants Crithmum maritimum
Flowering Plants Armeria pubigera
Flowering Plants Cochlearia danica
Flowering Plants Cochlearia officinalis
Flowering Plants Sagina maritima
Flowering Plants Limonium binervosum
Flowering Plants Plantago coronopus
Flowering Plants Silene uniflora
Flowering Plants Limonium dodartii
Flowering Plants Limonium ovalifolium
Flowering Plants Catapodium marinum
Flowering Plants Plantago maritima
Mosses & Liverworts Schistidium maritimum

Diagnostic species occur concentrated in the habitat in question, but are absent or rare in other habitats. They are good positive indicators of the habitat, but they do not need to occur in every location of the habitat.

Species scientific name English common name Species group
Spergularia rupicola Flowering Plants
Armeria maritima Flowering Plants
Crithmum maritimum Flowering Plants
Armeria pubigera Flowering Plants
Cochlearia danica Flowering Plants
Cochlearia officinalis Flowering Plants
Sagina maritima Flowering Plants
Limonium binervosum Flowering Plants
Plantago coronopus Flowering Plants
Silene uniflora Flowering Plants
Limonium dodartii Flowering Plants
Limonium ovalifolium Flowering Plants
Catapodium marinum Flowering Plants
Plantago maritima Flowering Plants
Schistidium maritimum Mosses & Liverworts
Flowering Plants Festuca rubra
Flowering Plants Armeria maritima
Flowering Plants Crithmum maritimum
Flowering Plants Plantago coronopus
Flowering Plants Plantago maritima
Flowering Plants Spergularia rupicola
Flowering Plants Silene uniflora
Flowering Plants Cochlearia danica
Flowering Plants Cochlearia officinalis
Flowering Plants Sagina maritima
Flowering Plants Daucus carota
Flowering Plants Catapodium marinum
Flowering Plants Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima
Flowering Plants Agrostis stolonifera
Flowering Plants Tripleurospermum maritimum
Flowering Plants Limonium binervosum

Constant species occur frequently in the habitat, but they may include generalist species that are also frequent in other habitats.

Species scientific name English common name Species group
Festuca rubra Flowering Plants
Armeria maritima Flowering Plants
Crithmum maritimum Flowering Plants
Plantago coronopus Flowering Plants
Plantago maritima Flowering Plants
Spergularia rupicola Flowering Plants
Silene uniflora Flowering Plants
Cochlearia danica Flowering Plants
Cochlearia officinalis Flowering Plants
Sagina maritima Flowering Plants
Daucus carota Flowering Plants
Catapodium marinum Flowering Plants
Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima Flowering Plants
Agrostis stolonifera Flowering Plants
Tripleurospermum maritimum Flowering Plants
Limonium binervosum Flowering Plants
Flowering Plants Crithmum maritimum
Flowering Plants Plantago coronopus
Flowering Plants Armeria maritima
Flowering Plants Plantago maritima
Flowering Plants Festuca rubra

Dominant species are those that often reach high cover in the habitat, thus determining the habitat physiognomy.

Species scientific name English common name Species group
Crithmum maritimum Flowering Plants
Plantago coronopus Flowering Plants
Armeria maritima Flowering Plants
Plantago maritima Flowering Plants
Festuca rubra Flowering Plants

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 B3.2 Unvegetated rock cliffs, ledges, shores and islets same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 B3.3 Rock cliffs, ledges and shores, with angiosperms same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 B3.2 Unvegetated rock cliffs, ledges, shores and islets same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 B3.3 Rock cliffs, ledges and shores, with angiosperms same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 B3.3 Rock cliffs, ledges and shores, with halophytic angiosperms same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 B3.2 Unvegetated rock cliffs, ledges, shores and islets same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 B3.3 Rock cliffs, ledges and shores, with halophytic angiosperms same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 B3.2 Unvegetated rock cliffs, ledges, shores and islets same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 B3.2 Unvegetated rock cliffs, ledges, shores and islets same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 B3.3 Oceanic rock cliffs, ledges and shores, with halophytic angiosperms same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 B7.2 Oceanic rock cliffs, ledges and shores, with halophytic angiosperms same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 B7.1 Unvegetated rock cliffs, ledges and shores same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 18.1 Sea-cliff faces, seaside rocks same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 199905 18.2 Sea-cliff and rocky shore aerohaline communities wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 18.2 Sea-cliff and rocky shore aerohaline communities wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1997 18.1 Sea-cliff faces, seaside rocks same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 18.1   same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1996 18.2   wider
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 18.1   same
Palaearctic Habitat Classification 1993 18.2   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 18.2   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1991 18.1   same
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 18.2   wider
CORINE Biotopes Classification 1989 18.1   same
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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Denmark
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