Caryophyllia smithii, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock

English name: Caryophyllia smithii, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A4.212
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A4)

Description (English)

This biotope typically occurs on the upper and vertical faces of wave-exposed, moderately strong to weakly tide-swept, circalittoral bedrock or boulders, with a water depth range of 20-30m. This often silty biotope has a typically sparse fauna, appearing grazed, and is characterised by common cup corals Caryophyllia smithii, frequent Alcyonium digitatum and occasional urchins Echinus esculentus. There may be occasional large growths of the sponge Cliona celata, Haliclona viscosa, Pachymatisma johnstonia and the axinellid sponge Stelligera stuposa. Echinoderms form a prominent feature of the fauna within this biotope, with species such as Marthasterias glacialis, Asterias rubens, Luidia ciliaris, Henricia oculata, Holothuria forskali, Antedon bifida and Aslia lefevrei present. Bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa and encrusting red algae cover the rock/boulder surface. The bryozoan Porella compressa may also be recorded occasionally. Isolated clumps of hydroids feature species such as Nemertesia antennina, Nemertesia ramosa, Abietinaria abietina, Halecium halecinum and Sertularella gayi. Other species observed include the anemone Corynactis viridis, Urticina felina, Sagartia elegans, Calliostoma zizyphinum, Balanus crenatus and Pomatoceros triqueter. Two variants within this biotope have been distinguished: units A4.2122 and A4.2121. While A4.2122 tends to have the bryozoans Pentapora foliacea and P. compressa, while A4.2121 features a dynamic community of brittlestars covering the seabed in a dense mat. Ophiothrix fragilis is usually the dominant species in shallow water but tends to be replaced by Ophiocomina nigra in deeper water.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Abietinaria abietina
Invertebrates Alcyonium digitatum
Invertebrates Antedon bifida
Invertebrates Aslia lefevrei
Invertebrates Asterias rubens
Invertebrates Balanus crenatus
Invertebrates Calliostoma zizyphinum
Invertebrates Caryophyllia smithii
Invertebrates Cliona celata
Invertebrates Corynactis viridis
Invertebrates Echinus esculentus
Invertebrates Haliclona viscosa
Invertebrates Henricia oculata
Invertebrates Holothuria forskali
Invertebrates Luidia ciliaris
Invertebrates Marthasterias glacialis
Invertebrates Nemertesia antennina
Invertebrates Nemertesia ramosa
Invertebrates Ophiocomina nigra
Invertebrates Ophiothrix fragilis
Invertebrates Pachymatisma johnstonia
Invertebrates Parasmittina trispinosa
Invertebrates Pomatoceros triqueter
Invertebrates Porella compressa
Invertebrates Sagartia elegans
Invertebrates Sertularella gayi
Invertebrates Stelligera stuposa
Invertebrates Urticina felina
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Abietinaria abietina Invertebrates
Alcyonium digitatum Invertebrates
Antedon bifida Invertebrates
Aslia lefevrei Invertebrates
Asterias rubens Invertebrates
Balanus crenatus Invertebrates
Calliostoma zizyphinum Invertebrates
Caryophyllia smithii Invertebrates
Cliona celata Invertebrates
Corynactis viridis Invertebrates
Echinus esculentus Invertebrates
Haliclona viscosa Invertebrates
Henricia oculata Invertebrates
Holothuria forskali Invertebrates
Luidia ciliaris Invertebrates
Marthasterias glacialis Invertebrates
Nemertesia antennina Invertebrates
Nemertesia ramosa Invertebrates
Ophiocomina nigra Invertebrates
Ophiothrix fragilis Invertebrates
Pachymatisma johnstonia Invertebrates
Parasmittina trispinosa Invertebrates
Pomatoceros triqueter Invertebrates
Porella compressa Invertebrates
Sagartia elegans Invertebrates
Sertularella gayi Invertebrates
Stelligera stuposa Invertebrates
Urticina felina Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSp <I>Caryophyllia smithii</I>, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral 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 A4.212 Caryophyllia smithii, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.511 Caryophyllia smithii, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.511 Coralline crusts, Parasmittina trispinosa, Caryophyllia smithii, Haliclona viscosa, polyclinids and sparse Corynactis viridis on very exposed circalittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A3.511 Coralline crusts, Parasmittina trispinosa, Caryophyllia smithii, Haliclona viscosa, polyclinids and sparse Corynactis viridis on very exposed circalittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) ECR.EFa.CCParCar Coralline crusts, Parasmittina trispinosa, Caryophyllia smithii, Haliclona viscosa, polyclinids and sparse Corynactic viridis on very exposed circalittoral rock same
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100