EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MA1 - Littoral rock > MA12 - Atlantic littoral rock > MA124 - Mussel and/or barnacle communities with seaweeds on Atlantic littoral rock > MA1244 - Fucus serratus on moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock > MA12442 - Fucus serratus and under-boulder fauna on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral boulders

Fucus serratus and under-boulder fauna on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral boulders

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA12442
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

Exposed to moderalety exposed lower eulittoral boulders with the wrack Fucus serratus community of a high species richness as the presence of the boulders increases the micro-habitat diversity. The upper surfaces of the boulders are colonised by a very similar fauna to the other F. serratus biotopes, including species such as the limpet Patella vulgata, the whelk Nucella lapillus, the anemone Actinia equina and the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides. The shaded sides of the boulders are, depending on environmental conditions, often colonised by a variety of foliose red seaweeds, including Mastocarpus stellatus, Lomentaria articulata, Osmundea pinnatifida, Palmaria palmata and Chondrus crispus. Coralline algae such as Corallina officinalis and coraline crusts, as well as the green seaweeds Enteromorpha intestinalis and Ulva lactuca, can be found underneath the F. serratus canopy or in patches on the boulders. The species composition underneath the boulders varies considerably depending on the underlying substratum. On muddy shores the fauna living under the boulders may be limited to a few infaunal species, such as the polychaete Cirratulus cirratus. Where more space is available beneath the boulders there may be a rich assemblage of animals. Characteristic mobile species include the crabs Porcellana platycheles and Carcinus maenas. Also present on and beneath the boulders are the tube-forming polychaete Pomatoceros triqueter, spirorbid polychaetes and a few winkles such as Littorina obtusata/mariae and Littorina littorea or even the top shell Gibbula cineraria. Encrusting colonies of the sponge Halichondria panicea are also typical of the undersides of boulders, while the hydroid Dynamena pumila colonies can be found on the F. serratus fronds. The richest examples of this biotope also contain a variety of brittlestars, ascidians and small hydroids.
Situation: This biotope usually occurs immediately below a Fucus vesiculosus -barnacle mosaic (unit MA1-243) on moderately exposed shores or a dense canopy of F. vesiculosus (MA1-23D) or Ascophyllum nodosum (MA1-23E1) on sheltered shores. The sublittoral fringe below on moderately exposed shores is dominated by the kelp Laminaria digitata (MB1-2172; MB1-2172), while the kelp Laminaria saccharina may co-dominate on sheltered shores (MB1-23A1;MB1-2391). Low abundance of these kelp may also occur in this biotope.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Ascophyllum nodosum
Algae Corallina officinalis
Algae Enteromorpha intestinalis
Algae Fucus serratus
Algae Fucus vesiculosus
Algae Laminaria digitata
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Algae Lomentaria articulata
Algae Mastocarpus stellatus
Algae Osmundea pinnatifida
Algae Palmaria palmata
Invertebrates Actinia equina
Invertebrates Dynamena pumila
Invertebrates Halichondria panicea
Invertebrates Littorina littorea
Invertebrates Nucella lapillus
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Invertebrates Pomatoceros triqueter
Invertebrates Porcellana platycheles
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Ascophyllum nodosum Algae
Corallina officinalis Algae
Enteromorpha intestinalis Algae
Fucus serratus Algae
Fucus vesiculosus Algae
Laminaria digitata Algae
Laminaria saccharina Algae
Lomentaria articulata Algae
Mastocarpus stellatus Algae
Osmundea pinnatifida Algae
Palmaria palmata Algae
Actinia equina Invertebrates
Dynamena pumila Invertebrates
Halichondria panicea Invertebrates
Littorina littorea Invertebrates
Nucella lapillus Dog whelk Invertebrates
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Pomatoceros triqueter Invertebrates
Porcellana platycheles Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A1.2142 Fucus serratus and under-boulder fauna on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral boulders same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A1.2142 Fucus serratus and under-boulder fauna on exposed to moderately exposed lower eulittoral boulders same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A1.22321 Fucus serratus and under-boulder fauna on lower eulittoral boulders same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A1.22321 Fucus serratus and under-boulder fauna on lower eulittoral boulders same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A1.21321 Fucus serratus and under-boulder fauna on lower eulittoral boulders same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) MLR.BF.Fser.Fser.Bo Fucus serratus and under-boulder fauna on lower eulittoral boulders same
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