Chthamalus spp. and Lichina pygmaea on steep exposed upper eulittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA12222
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

Areas of steep and vertical rock in the upper eulittoral on very exposed to moderately exposed shores characterised by tufts of the dark brownish lichen Lichina pygmaea and the barnacles Chthamalus montagui and Chthamalus stellatus, although long-established patches of L. pygmaea ultimately exclude barnacles. The rigid branching thallus of L. pygmaea provides an ideal habitat for the bivalve Lasaea adasoni, the winkles Littorina saxatilis and Melarhaphe neritoides. The anemone Actinia equina and the mussel Mytilus edulis are confined to moist cracks and crevices, while the limpet Patella vulgata is found on the open bedrock. In the south-west the top shell Gibbula umbilicalis can be found on L. pygmaea. On the north-east coast this biotope does not have Chthamalus spp., L. pygmaea being the most important characterising species on these sites.
Situation: The band of L. pygmaea lies between the Verrucaria maura zone (MA1-2131 or MA1-2132) above and the barnacle P. vulgata zone below. Other upper shore biotopes (MA1-2131 or MA1-2132) may contain occasional patches of L. pygmaea, particularly on steep sunny faces, though not forming a distinct zone. L. pygmaea also occurs on less steeply-sloping shores if they are in a sunny aspect. In some areas, a high abundance of L. pygmaea results in a distinct zone, particularly in the south. On Chthamalus spp . dominated shores (south and west coasts) the band of L. pygmaea lies within the barnacle zone, whereas on Semibalanus balanoides dominated shores (north and east coasts) MA1-2222 lies astride the upper limit of the barnacles.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Actinia equina
Invertebrates Chthamalus montagui
Invertebrates Chthamalus stellatus
Invertebrates Gibbula umbilicalis
Invertebrates Littorina saxatilis
Invertebrates Melarhaphe neritoides
Invertebrates Mytilus edulis
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Invertebrates Semibalanus balanoides
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Actinia equina Invertebrates
Chthamalus montagui Invertebrates
Chthamalus stellatus Invertebrates
Gibbula umbilicalis Invertebrates
Littorina saxatilis Invertebrates
Melarhaphe neritoides Invertebrates
Mytilus edulis Invertebrates
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Semibalanus balanoides Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A1.1122 Chthamalus spp. and Lichina pygmaea on steep exposed upper eulittoral rock same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A1.1122 Chthamalus spp. and Lichina pygmaea on steep exposed upper eulittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A1.1122 Chthamalus spp. and Lichina pygmaea on steep exposed upper eulittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A1.1122 Barnacles and Lichina pygmaea on steep exposed eulittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A1.1122 Barnacles and Lichina pygmaea on steep exposed eulittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) ELR.MB.BPat.Lic Barnacles and Lichina pygmaea on steep exposed eulittoral rock same
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