Coralline crust-dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools

English name: Coralline crust-dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A1.411

Description (English)

Shallow and smaller rockpools throughout the eulittoral zone in a wide range of wave exposures characterised by a covering of encrusting coralline algae on which Corallina officinalis often forms a dense turf. The bottom of these pools can be covered in coarse gravel and cobbles. These 'coralline' pools have a striking appearance as they are dominated by red seaweeds. Foliose red seaweeds found in these pools include Mastocarpus stellatus, Chondrus crispus and the filamentous Ceramium nodulosum. The ephemeral green seaweeds Cladophora rupestris, Ulva lactuca and Enteromorpha spp. can also occur in high abundance. The pools may hold large numbers of grazing molluscs, particularly the winkle Littorina littorea (which often occur in exceptionally high densities in upper shore pools) and the limpet Patella vulgata. Gastropods may graze these pools to such an extent that they is devoid of any foliose red seaweeds, and the flora are reduced to encrusting coralline algae and large numbers of gastropods. Large brown seaweeds are generally absent. Within the pools, pits and crevices are often occupied by the anemone Actinia equina and small individuals of the mussel Mytilus edulis. The whelk Nucella lapillus can be found on the rock surface preying on the barnacles and mussels. A number of variants have been identified. Pools dominated by coralline algae and foliose red seaweeds with a distribution throughout the UK (see unit A1.4111). In Ireland, the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus can dominate these shallow coralline pools (see A1.4112). In south-west Britain, the brown seaweed Bifurcaria bifurcata (A1.4113) or Cystoseira spp. (A1.4114) can be regionally dominant.
Situation: Rockpools throughout the eulittoral and lower littoral fringe on rocky shores.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Actinia equina
Algae Bifurcaria bifurcata
Algae Chondrus crispus
Algae Corallina officinalis
Invertebrates Littorina littorea
Algae Mastocarpus stellatus
Invertebrates Mytilus edulis
Invertebrates Nucella lapillus
Invertebrates Paracentrotus lividus
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Algae Ulva lactuca
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Actinia equina Invertebrates
Bifurcaria bifurcata Algae
Chondrus crispus Algae
Corallina officinalis Algae
Littorina littorea Invertebrates
Mastocarpus stellatus Algae
Mytilus edulis Invertebrates
Nucella lapillus Dog whelk Invertebrates
Paracentrotus lividus Invertebrates
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Ulva lactuca Algae

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor Coralline crust-dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools source
CORINE Land Cover 4.2.3. Intertidal flats n/a
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A1.411 Coralline crust-dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A1.511 Corallina officinalis and coralline crusts in shallow eulittoral rockpools same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A1.511 Corallina officinalis and coralline crusts in shallow eulittoral rockpools same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A1.511 Corallina officinalis and coralline crusts in shallow eulittoral rockpools same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A1.51 Shallow eulittoral rockpools with coralline crusts and/or dense gastropod communities same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A1.51 Rockpool communities dominated by gastropods same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LR.Rkp.Cor Corallina officinalis and coralline crusts in shallow eulittoral rockpools same
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) RKP.Gas   narrower
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