EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MA1 - Littoral rock > MA12 - Atlantic littoral rock > MA125 - Fucoids on variable salinity Atlantic littoral rock > MA1256 - Fucus serratus and large Mytilus edulis on variable salinity lower eulittoral rock

Fucus serratus and large Mytilus edulis on variable salinity lower eulittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA1256
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

Areas of very sheltered lower eulittoral rock or mixed substrata subject to variable salinity, which support an impoverished community dominated by the wrack Fucus serratus. The hydroid Dynamena pumila can form colonies on the F. serratus and clumps of large individuals of the mussel Mytilus edulis may be present on the bedrock beneath. The canopy of F. serratus is not usually as dense as in the other F. serratus dominated biotopes due the presence of the wracks Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus, which are better adapted to the variable salinity. A few red seaweeds are present which includes the species Mastocarpus stellatus, Chondrus crispus and coralline crusts. Underneath the canopy is a sparse fauna consisting of barnacles Semibalanus balanoides, Balanus crenatus and Elminius modestus, the limpet Patella vulgata or the occasional presence of the winkles Littorina obtusata and Littorina mariae and the crab Carcinus maenas. The tube-forming polychaetes Pomatoceros triqueter or spirorbid polychaetes can be found. In areas (such as the Scottish sea lochs) where variable salinity water passes through tide-swept narrows and the associated biota is impoverished such records should be classified as MA1-256 rather than MA1-239.
Situation: This biotope may be found below the variable salinity F. vesiculosus dominated biotope or A. nodosum dominated biotope (MA1-254; MA1-253), particularly in Scottish sea lochs. It can be found above the biotopes dominated by the kelp Laminaria saccharina (units MB1-242; MB1-243).
Temporal variation: The canopy of F. serratus is not as dense as in the other F. serratus dominated biotopes due the presence of the wracks A. nodosum and F. vesiculosus, which are better adapted to the variable salinity.
They will therefore out-compete F. serratus on the lower shore and an ecological shift can occur (In the Baltic Sea F. vesiculosus is the dominant sublittoral brown seaweed). Due to the variable or low salinity conditions the individual red seaweeds may not be as large as specimens found in fully marine conditions and they can lack sexually reproductive structures.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Ascophyllum nodosum
Algae Chondrus crispus
Algae Fucus serratus
Algae Fucus vesiculosus
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Algae Mastocarpus stellatus
Invertebrates Balanus crenatus
Invertebrates Carcinus maenas
Invertebrates Dynamena pumila
Invertebrates Elminius modestus
Invertebrates Littorina obtusata
Invertebrates Mytilus edulis
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Invertebrates Pomatoceros triqueter
Invertebrates Semibalanus balanoides
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Ascophyllum nodosum Algae
Chondrus crispus Algae
Fucus serratus Algae
Fucus vesiculosus Algae
Laminaria saccharina Algae
Mastocarpus stellatus Algae
Balanus crenatus Invertebrates
Carcinus maenas Invertebrates
Dynamena pumila Invertebrates
Elminius modestus Invertebrates
Littorina obtusata Invertebrates
Mytilus edulis Invertebrates
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Pomatoceros triqueter Invertebrates
Semibalanus balanoides Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A1.326 Fucus serratus and large Mytilus edulis on variable salinity lower 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 A1.326 Fucus serratus and large Mytilus edulis on variable salinity lower eulittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A1.3152 Fucus serratus and large Mytilus edulis on variable salinity lower eulittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A1.3152 Fucus serratus and large Mytilus edulis on variable salinity lower eulittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A1.3152 Fucus serratus and large Mytilus edulis on variable salinity lower eulittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) SLR.F.Fserr.VS Fucus serratus and large Mytilus edulis on variable salinity lower eulittoral rock same
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100