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 > MB123A - Laminaria saccharina on very sheltered Atlantic infralittoral rock > MB123A4 - Grazed Laminaria saccharina with Echinus, brittlestars and coralline crusts on sheltered Atlantic infralittoral rock

Grazed Laminaria saccharina with Echinus, brittlestars and coralline crusts on sheltered Atlantic infralittoral rock

Description (English)

Coralline encrusted rock with scattered tufts of red seaweed and a relatively high abundance of grazing echinoderms which typically include the urchin Echinus esculentus and/or the brittlestars Ophiothrix fragilis or Ophiocomina nigra. The rock often looks bare, with few conspicuous species present although Laminaria saccharina may occur it is generally in low abundance (Rare or Occasional). The red seaweeds, reduced to small tufts through grazing, include Phycodrys rubens, Delesseria sanguinea and Brongniartella byssoides and although these seaweeds also occur in unit MB1-2392 they are far less frequent in this biotope. Brown seaweeds, such as Desmarestia viridis, Chorda filum and Cutleria multifida, may be present. Grazing molluscs, such as Gibbula cineraria and can be common. Under-boulder habitats can harbour the crabs Necora puber and Pagurus bernhardus, terebellid polychaetes and the polychaete Pomatoceros spp. with ascidians Ascidia mentula and Clavelina lepadiformis on the open rock along with the echinoderm Asterias rubens and the hydroids Kirchenpauria pinnata and Obelia dichotoma.
Situation: This biotope generally occurs on rock below a dense kelp forest of L. saccharina (unit MB1-2391) or mixed kelp (unit MB1-2391).
Temporal variation: If the grazing pressure is reduced (i.e. a decrease in the number of grazing echinoderms present) a richer kelp community may develop (units MB1-2392 or MB1-2392).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MB123A4
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 Chorda filum
Algae Cutleria multifida
Algae Delesseria sanguinea
Algae Desmarestia viridis
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Algae Phycodrys rubens
Invertebrates Ascidia mentula
Invertebrates Asterias rubens
Invertebrates Clavelina lepadiformis
Invertebrates Echinus esculentus
Invertebrates Gibbula cineraria
Invertebrates Necora puber
Invertebrates Obelia dichotoma
Invertebrates Ophiocomina nigra
Invertebrates Ophiothrix fragilis
Invertebrates Pagurus bernhardus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Chorda filum Algae
Cutleria multifida Algae
Delesseria sanguinea Algae
Desmarestia viridis Algae
Laminaria saccharina Algae
Phycodrys rubens Algae
Ascidia mentula Invertebrates
Asterias rubens Invertebrates
Clavelina lepadiformis Invertebrates
Echinus esculentus Invertebrates
Gibbula cineraria Invertebrates
Necora puber Invertebrates
Obelia dichotoma Invertebrates
Ophiocomina nigra Invertebrates
Ophiothrix fragilis Invertebrates
Pagurus bernhardus Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A3.3134 Grazed Laminaria saccharina with Echinus, brittlestars and coralline crusts on sheltered infralittoral rock same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A3.3134 Grazed Laminaria saccharina with Echinus, brittlestars and coralline crusts on sheltered infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.313 Grazed Laminaria saccharina with Echinus, brittlestars and coralline crusts on sheltered infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.313 Echinus, brittlestars and coralline crusts on grazed lower infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A3.313 Echinus, brittlestars and coralline crusts on grazed lower infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A3.32 Grazed sheltered lower infralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A3.32 Grazed sheltered lower infralittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) SIR.K.EchBriCC Echinus, brittlestars and coralline crusts on grazed lower infralittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) SIR.EchBriCC   same
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