Laminaria saccharina on very sheltered Atlantic infralittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MB123A
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Description (English)

Very sheltered infralittoral rock dominated by the kelp Laminaria saccharina. Typically very silty and often with few associated seaweeds due to siltation, grazing or shading from the dense kelp canopy. The most commonly occurring red seaweeds are Delesseria sanguinea, Phycodrys rubens, Bonnemaisonia hamifera and coralline crusts. In addition to the kelp the brown seaweed Chorda filum and Ectocarpaceae are often present. As well as lacking Laminaria hyperborea, the MB1-23A biotopes have fewer foliose and filamentous red seaweed species by comparison to MB1-239 biotopes. A depauperate assemblage of animals is present (by comparison to MB1-21A1 and MB1-21A2) predominantly consisting of the encrusting polychaetes Pomatoceros triqueter, the crabs Carcinus maenas and Pagurus bernhardus and the ubiquitous gastropod Gibbula cineraria. The echinoderms Antedon bifida, starfish Asterias rubens, brittlestar Ophiothrix fragilis and urchin Echinus esculentus occur in low abundance. Ascidians are commonly found in all the MB1-23A biotopes, but the large solitary ascidian Ascidia mentula are most prolific in very sheltered conditions of L. saccharina forests (MB1-23A2). This biotope is most commonly associated with the sheltered fjordic sealochs of Scotland where sublittoral hard substrata can be found at the sheltered head of the lochs. Similarly the sheltered loughs of Ireland (Lough Hyne, Strangford Lough and Carlingford Lough). It is also found where suitable hard substrata exist in the sheltered inlets of south-west Britain, such as Milford Haven or Plymouth Sound. 4 variants has been described: A mixture of L. saccharina and Laminaria digitata (MB1-23A1), dense L. saccharina forest in the upper infralittoral (MB1-23A2), sparse L. saccharina in the lower infralittoral (MB1-23A3) and urchin-grazed (MB1-23A4).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Bonnemaisonia hamifera
Algae Delesseria sanguinea
Algae Laminaria digitata
Algae Laminaria hyperborea
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Algae Phycodrys rubens
Invertebrates Antedon bifida
Invertebrates Asterias rubens
Invertebrates Carcinus maenas
Invertebrates Echinus esculentus
Invertebrates Gibbula cineraria
Invertebrates Pagurus bernhardus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Bonnemaisonia hamifera Algae
Delesseria sanguinea Algae
Laminaria digitata Algae
Laminaria hyperborea Algae
Laminaria saccharina Algae
Phycodrys rubens Algae
Antedon bifida Invertebrates
Asterias rubens Invertebrates
Carcinus maenas Invertebrates
Echinus esculentus Invertebrates
Gibbula cineraria Invertebrates
Pagurus bernhardus Invertebrates

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A3.313 Laminaria saccharina on very sheltered infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.312 Laminaria saccharina on very sheltered infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.312 Laminaria saccharina on very sheltered infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A3.312 Laminaria saccharina on very sheltered infralittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) SIR.K.Lsac Laminaria saccharina on very sheltered infralittoral rock same
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