EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MB1 - Infralittoral rock > MB12 - Atlantic infralittoral rock > MB123 - Kelp and seaweed communities on sediment-affected or disturbed Atlantic infralittoral rock > MB1235 - Mixed kelps with scour-tolerant and opportunistic foliose red seaweeds on scoured or sand-covered Atlantic infralittoral rock

Mixed kelps with scour-tolerant and opportunistic foliose red seaweeds on scoured or sand-covered Atlantic infralittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MB1235
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

Bedrock and boulders, often in tide-swept areas, that are subject to scouring or periodic burial by sand, characterised by a canopy of mixed kelps such as Laminaria saccharina, Laminaria hyperborea and Saccorhiza polyschides and the brown seaweed Desmarestia aculeata ; there may also be an understorey of foliose seaweeds that can withstand scour such as Plocamium cartilagineum, Chondrus crispus, Dilsea carnosa, Callophyllis laciniata as well as the filamentous Heterosiphonia plumosa and the foliose brown seaweed Dictyota dichotoma. The perennial red seaweed Brongniartella byssoides re-grows in the summer months. The L. hyperborea stipes often support a growth of epiphytes, such as Delesseria sanguinea, Phycodrys rubens and Cryptopleura ramosa. The scour can reduce the rock surface to bare coralline crusts at times; sponge crusts and the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri can also grow on the stipes and holdfasts. The faunal diversity on the rock is usually low and restricted to robust, low-profile animals such as the tube-building polychaete Pomatoceros triqueter, the barnacle Balanus crenatus, encrusting bryozoans such as Membranipora membranacea, the anthozoan Urticina felina, the starfish Asterias rubens and the urchin Echinus esculentus. Deeper sites support more hydroids and bryozoans, particularly Bugula spp. Where this biotope occurs in very shallow water Laminaria digitata may be found in combination with the other kelp species. Other species present only in shallow water include the red algae Corallina officinalis and the sand-binding alga Rhodothamniella floridula.
Situation: This biotope often occurs below a L. hyperborea forest (unit MB1-2151, MB1-21A1 or MB1-2181), close to a rock-sediment boundary. It is also found on low-lying rock outcrops surrounded by sand or mixed sediment and nearby biotopes on mixed substrata may include units A1.45, MB1-237 or in very shallow water MB1-233. A Flustra foliacea community (MC1-216) often dominates deeper sand-scoured circalittoral rock.
Temporal variation: During late autumn and winter seaweeds are sparse, leaving predominantly kelp and encrusting coralline algae. This is due in part to periods of intense scouring during stormy months, which may strip off all but the most tenacious seaweeds. In addition there will be the natural die back of many of the seaweeds such as B. byssoides and C. ciliata during the winter months which become conspicuous again during the summer months.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Brongniartella byssoides
Algae Callophyllis laciniata
Algae Chondrus crispus
Algae Corallina officinalis
Algae Delesseria sanguinea
Algae Desmarestia aculeata
Algae Dictyota dichotoma
Algae Dilsea carnosa
Algae Heterosiphonia plumosa
Algae Laminaria digitata
Algae Laminaria hyperborea
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Algae Phycodrys rubens
Algae Plocamium cartilagineum
Algae Rhodothamniella floridula
Algae Saccorhiza polyschides
Invertebrates Asterias rubens
Invertebrates Balanus crenatus
Invertebrates Botryllus schlosseri
Invertebrates Echinus esculentus
Invertebrates Flustra foliacea
Invertebrates Membranipora membranacea
Invertebrates Pomatoceros triqueter
Invertebrates Urticina felina
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Brongniartella byssoides Algae
Callophyllis laciniata Algae
Chondrus crispus Algae
Corallina officinalis Algae
Delesseria sanguinea Algae
Desmarestia aculeata Algae
Dictyota dichotoma Algae
Dilsea carnosa Algae
Heterosiphonia plumosa Algae
Laminaria digitata Algae
Laminaria hyperborea Algae
Laminaria saccharina Algae
Phycodrys rubens Algae
Plocamium cartilagineum Algae
Rhodothamniella floridula Algae
Saccorhiza polyschides Algae
Asterias rubens Invertebrates
Balanus crenatus Invertebrates
Botryllus schlosseri Invertebrates
Echinus esculentus Invertebrates
Flustra foliacea Invertebrates
Membranipora membranacea Invertebrates
Pomatoceros triqueter Invertebrates
Urticina felina Invertebrates

Other classifications

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A3.125 Mixed kelps with scour-tolerant and opportunistic foliose red seaweeds on scoured or sand-covered infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.233 Mixed kelps with scour-tolerant and opportunistic foliose red seaweeds on scoured or sand-covered infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.233 Mixed kelps with scour-tolerant and opportunistic foliose red seaweeds on scoured or sand-covered infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A3.233 Mixed kelps with scour-tolerant and opportunistic foliose red seaweeds on scoured or sand-covered infralittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) MIR.SedK.XKScrR Mixed kelps with scour-tolerant and opportunistic foliose red seaweeds on scoured or sand-covered infralittoral rock same
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