EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MA1 - Littoral rock > MA12 - Atlantic littoral rock > MA127 - Communities of Atlantic littoral caves and overhangs > MA127A - Barren and/or boulder-scoured littoral cave walls and floors

Barren and/or boulder-scoured littoral cave walls and floors

Description (English)

Mid and upper shore mobile boulders/cobbles on cave floors and the lower reaches of cave walls which are subject to scour are generally devoid of macro-fauna and flora. However, where light is available around the cave entrances, encrusting coralline algae may cover the rock and boulder surfaces. In some instances they may support sparse fauna such as the limpet Patella spp. and the winkle Littorina saxatilis.
Situation: This biotope is situated on the floor, or at the base of cave walls, often with a zone of unit MA1-279 above (where the scouring effect of boulders is less). In areas of extreme wave exposure this zone will extend high up the sides of the cave and in less wave-exposed conditions where the effects of scouring are reduced, some fauna may be present. At the entrances and 2-3 metres into upper shore caves, a zone of unit MA1-223 may occur above the MA1-27A, becoming a zone of MA1-275 further into the cave. In mid shore caves, this unit is above by a zone of unit MA1-279 (sparse fauna), and in caves on the lower shore, the surge-tolerant unit MA1-2761 may occur above this zone.
Temporal variation: In calmer summer months cave mouths may have some ephemeral algae (e.g. Enteromorpha intestinalis) and a spat-fall of barnacles or limpets.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA127A
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Enteromorpha intestinalis
Invertebrates Littorina saxatilis
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Enteromorpha intestinalis Algae
Littorina saxatilis Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A1.44A Barren and/or boulder-scoured littoral cave walls and floors same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A1.44A Barren and/or boulder-scoured littoral cave walls and floors same
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