EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MB1 - Infralittoral rock > MB12 - Atlantic infralittoral rock > MB121 - Kelp and seaweed communities on Atlantic infralittoral rock > MB1211 - Alaria esculenta on exposed Atlantic sublittoral fringe bedrock

Alaria esculenta on exposed Atlantic sublittoral fringe bedrock

Description (English)

Exposed sublittoral fringe bedrock with an Alaria esculenta forest and an encrusting fauna of the mussel Mytilus edulis and barnacles such as Semibalanus balanoides. The kelp Laminaria digitata can be part of the canopy. Underneath the canopy are red seaweeds such as Mastocarpus stellatus and Palmaria palmata, while encrusting coralline red algae such as Lithothamnion graciale covers the rock surface. The limpet Patella vulgata can be found grazing the rock surface, while the whelk Nucella lapillus is preying on the limpets, barnacles and mussels. Two variants of this biotope are described. In more wave exposed conditions Laminaria digitata is absent and the rock surface is often characterised by dense patches of mussels (unit MB1-2111). In slightly less exposed sites the A. esculenta is mixed with L. digitata (unit MB1-2112).
Situation: This biotope is found in the sublittoral fringe on exposed shores, typically occupying the extreme lower shore down to 1 or 2 m depth, although it can also extend down to 15 m depth on very exposed coasts. It is generally found below the mussel-barnacle zone of the lower shore (unit MA1-221) or a narrow band of the seaweed-dominated biotopes featuring dense Himanthalia elongata or red seaweeds (units MA1-233, MA1-235). Below the A. esculenta zone, the upper infralittoral rock generally supports a Laminaria hyperborea kelp community (MB1-213, MB1-2151 or MB1-21A1).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MB1211
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 Alaria esculenta
Algae Himanthalia elongata
Algae Laminaria digitata
Algae Laminaria hyperborea
Algae Mastocarpus stellatus
Algae Palmaria palmata
Invertebrates Mytilus edulis
Invertebrates Nucella lapillus
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Invertebrates Semibalanus balanoides
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Alaria esculenta Algae
Himanthalia elongata Algae
Laminaria digitata Algae
Laminaria hyperborea Algae
Mastocarpus stellatus Algae
Palmaria palmata Algae
Mytilus edulis Invertebrates
Nucella lapillus Dog whelk Invertebrates
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Semibalanus balanoides Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A3.111 Alaria esculenta on exposed sublittoral fringe bedrock same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A3.111 Alaria esculenta on exposed sublittoral fringe bedrock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.111 Alaria esculenta on sublittoral fringe bedrock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.111 Alaria esculenta on sublittoral fringe bedrock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A3.111 Alaria esculenta on sublittoral fringe bedrock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) EIR.KFaR.Ala Alaria esculenta on sublittoral fringe bedrock same
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