Sponge communities on deep circalittoral rock

English name: Sponge communities on deep circalittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A4.12
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A4)

Description (English)

This habitat type typically occurs on deep (commonly below 30m depth), wave-exposed circalittoral rock subject to negligible tidal streams. The sponge component of this biotope is the most striking feature, with similar species to the bryozoan and erect sponge habitat type (A4.131) although in this case, the sponges Phakellia ventilabrum, Axinella infundibuliformis, Axinella dissimilis and Stelligera stuposa dominate. Other sponge species frequently found on exposed rocky coasts are also present in low to moderate abundance. These include Cliona celata, Polymastia boletiformis, Haliclona viscosa, Pachymatisma johnstonia, Dysidea fragilis, Suberites carnosus, Stelligera rigida, Hemimycale columella and Tethya aurantium. The cup coral Caryophyllia smithii and the anemone Corynactis virdis may be locally abundant in some areas, along with the holothurian Holothuria forskali. The soft corals Alcyonium digitatum and Alcyonium glomeratum are frequently observed. The bryozoans Pentapora foliacea and Porella compressa are also more frequently found in this deep-water habitat type. Bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa are also occasionally recorded. Isolated clumps of large hydroids such as Nemertesia antennina, Nemertesia ramosa and Sertularella gayi may be seen on the tops of boulders and rocky outcrops. Large echinoderms such as Echinus esculentus, Luidia ciliaris, Marthasterias glacialis, Strichastrella rosea, Henricia oculata and Aslia lefevrei may also be present. The sea fan Eunicella verucosa may be locally common but to a lesser extent than in A4.1311. The top shell Calliostoma zizyphinum is often recorded as present.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Alcyonium digitatum
Invertebrates Aslia lefevrei
Invertebrates Axinella dissimilis
Invertebrates Axinella infundibuliformis
Invertebrates Calliostoma zizyphinum
Invertebrates Caryophyllia smithii
Invertebrates Cliona celata
Invertebrates Dysidea fragilis
Invertebrates Echinus esculentus
Invertebrates Haliclona viscosa
Invertebrates Hemimycale columella
Invertebrates Henricia oculata
Invertebrates Holothuria forskali
Invertebrates Luidia ciliaris
Invertebrates Marthasterias glacialis
Invertebrates Nemertesia antennina
Invertebrates Nemertesia ramosa
Invertebrates Pachymatisma johnstonia
Invertebrates Parasmittina trispinosa
Invertebrates Phakellia ventilabrum
Invertebrates Polymastia boletiformis
Invertebrates Porella compressa
Invertebrates Sertularella gayi
Invertebrates Stelligera rigida
Invertebrates Stelligera stuposa
Invertebrates Suberites carnosus
Invertebrates Tethya aurantium
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Alcyonium digitatum Invertebrates
Aslia lefevrei Invertebrates
Axinella dissimilis Invertebrates
Axinella infundibuliformis Invertebrates
Calliostoma zizyphinum Invertebrates
Caryophyllia smithii Invertebrates
Cliona celata Invertebrates
Dysidea fragilis Invertebrates
Echinus esculentus Invertebrates
Haliclona viscosa Invertebrates
Hemimycale columella Invertebrates
Henricia oculata Invertebrates
Holothuria forskali Invertebrates
Luidia ciliaris Invertebrates
Marthasterias glacialis Invertebrates
Nemertesia antennina Invertebrates
Nemertesia ramosa Invertebrates
Pachymatisma johnstonia Invertebrates
Parasmittina trispinosa Invertebrates
Phakellia ventilabrum Invertebrates
Polymastia boletiformis Invertebrates
Porella compressa Invertebrates
Sertularella gayi Invertebrates
Stelligera rigida Invertebrates
Stelligera stuposa Invertebrates
Suberites carnosus Invertebrates
Tethya aurantium Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 CR.HCR.DpSp Deep sponge communities (circalittoral) source
CORINE Land Cover 5.2.3. Sea and ocean n/a
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A4.12 Sponge communities on deep circalittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.61 Mixed faunal turf communities on moderately exposed circalittoral rock overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.8 Deep circalittoral rock habitats exposed to strong currents narrower
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.8 Deep circalittoral rock habitats exposed to strong currents same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.61 Mixed faunal turf communities on moderately exposed circalittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A3.61 Mixed faunal turf communities on moderately exposed circalittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A3.61 Mixed faunal turf communities on moderately exposed circalittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A5.21 Mixed faunal turf communities on moderately exposed circalittoral rock same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) MCR.XFa Mixed faunal turfs (moderately exposed rock) same
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) MCR.FaXTf   same
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