EUNIS habitat classification 2017 > M - Marine benthic habitats > MB3 - Infralittoral coarse sediment > MB32 - Atlantic infralittoral coarse sediment > MB322 - Maerl beds on Atlantic infralittoral coarse sediment > MB3222 - Lithothamnion glaciale maerl beds in tide-swept variable salinity Atlantic infralittoral gravel

Lithothamnion glaciale maerl beds in tide-swept variable salinity Atlantic infralittoral gravel

Description (English)

Upper infralittoral tide-swept channels of coarse sediment in full or variable salinity conditions support distinctive beds of Lithothamnion glaciale maerl 'rhodoliths'. Phymatolithon calcareum may also be present as a more minor maerl component. Associated fauna and flora may include species found in other types of maerl beds (and elsewhere), e.g. Pomatoceros triqueter, Cerianthus lloydii, Sabella pavonina, Chaetopterus variopedatus, Lanice conchilega, Mya truncata, Plocamium cartilagineum and Phycodrys rubens. Unit MB3-222, however, also has a fauna that reflects the slightly reduced salinity conditions, e.g. Psammechinus miliaris is often present in high numbers along with other grazers such as chitons and Tectura spp. Hyas araneus, Ophiothrix fragilis, Ophiocomina nigra and the brown seaweed Dictyota dichotoma are also typically present at sites. In Scottish lagoons this biotope may show considerable variation but the community falls within the broad description defined here.
Situation: This biotope can often be found at the upper end of Scottish sealochs where the variable salinity of the habitat may not be immediately obvious.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MB3222
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 Dictyota dichotoma
Algae Lithothamnion glaciale
Algae Phycodrys rubens
Algae Phymatolithon calcareum
Algae Plocamium cartilagineum
Invertebrates Chaetopterus variopedatus
Invertebrates Hyas araneus
Invertebrates Lanice conchilega
Invertebrates Mya truncata
Invertebrates Ophiocomina nigra
Invertebrates Ophiothrix fragilis
Invertebrates Pomatoceros triqueter
Invertebrates Psammechinus miliaris
Invertebrates Sabella pavonina
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Dictyota dichotoma Algae
Lithothamnion glaciale Algae
Phycodrys rubens Algae
Phymatolithon calcareum Algae
Plocamium cartilagineum Algae
Chaetopterus variopedatus Invertebrates
Hyas araneus Invertebrates
Lanice conchilega Invertebrates
Mya truncata Invertebrates
Ophiocomina nigra Invertebrates
Ophiothrix fragilis Invertebrates
Pomatoceros triqueter Invertebrates
Psammechinus miliaris Invertebrates
Sabella pavonina Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A5.512 Lithothamnion glaciale maerl beds in tide-swept variable salinity infralittoral gravel same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A5.512 Lithothamnion glaciale maerl beds in tide-swept variable salinity infralittoral gravel same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A4.612 Lithothamnion glaciale maerl beds in tide-swept variable salinity infralittoral gravel same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A4.612 Lithothamnion glaciale maerl beds in tide-swept variable salinity shallow-water gravel same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A4.112 Lithothamnion glaciale maerl beds in tide-swept variable salinity shallow-water gravel same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) IGS.Mrl.Lgla Lithothamnion glaciale maerl beds in tide-swept variable salinity infralittoral gravel same
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