Barren and/or boulder-scoured littoral cave walls and floors
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
|EUNIS habitat type||code MA127A|
|Relation to||Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)|
Relation to other habitat types mentioned in legal instruments
Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)Not available
Species mentioned in habitat description
|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|
|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|