Fucus vesiculosus on full salinity moderately exposed to sheltered mid eulittoral rock

English name: Fucus vesiculosus on full salinity moderately exposed to sheltered mid eulittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A1.3131

Description (English)

Moderately exposed to sheltered mid eulittoral bedrock and large boulders characterised by a dense canopy of the wrack Fucus vesiculosus (Abundant to Superabundant). Beneath the seaweed canopy the rock surface has a sparse covering of the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides and the limpet Patella vulgata. The mussel Mytilus edulis is confined to pits and crevices. A variety of winkles including Littorina littorea, Littorina saxatilis and the whelk Nucella lapillus are found beneath the seaweeds, whilst Littorina obtusata/mariae graze on the fucoid fronds. The calcareous tube-forming polychaete Spirorbis spirorbis may also occur epiphytically on the fronds. In areas of localised shelter the wrack Ascophyllum nodosum may occur, though never at high abundance. Damp cracks and crevices often contain patches of the red seaweed Mastocarpus stellatus and even the wrack Fucus serratus may be present. The crab Carcinus maenas may be present in pools or among the boulders.
Situation: This biotope usually occurs between the wrack Fucus spiralis (A1.312) and the F. serratus (A1 315) zones; both of these fucoids may be present in this biotope, though never at high abundance (typically less than Frequent). In some sheltered areas F. vesiculosus forms a narrow zone above the A. nodosum zone (A1.314). Where freshwater runoff occurs on more gradually sloping shores F. vesiculosus may be replaced by the wrack Fucus ceranoides (A1.327).
Temporal variation: On some shores, particularly those which are moderately exposed to wave action, temporal fluctuations in the abundance of limpets, barnacles and fucoid seaweeds may occur. As a result, over a number of years, a single shore may cycle between the barnacle-P. vulgata dominated biotope (A1.1132), through this mosaic (A1.213) to a F. vesiculosus-dominated biotope (A1.313).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Ascophyllum nodosum
Invertebrates Carcinus maenas
Algae Fucus ceranoides
Algae Fucus serratus
Algae Fucus spiralis
Algae Fucus vesiculosus
Invertebrates Littorina littorea
Invertebrates Littorina saxatilis
Algae Mastocarpus stellatus
Invertebrates Mytilus edulis
Invertebrates Nucella lapillus
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Invertebrates Semibalanus balanoides
Invertebrates Spirorbis spirorbis
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Ascophyllum nodosum Algae
Carcinus maenas Invertebrates
Fucus ceranoides Algae
Fucus serratus Algae
Fucus spiralis Algae
Fucus vesiculosus Algae
Littorina littorea Invertebrates
Littorina saxatilis Invertebrates
Mastocarpus stellatus Algae
Mytilus edulis Invertebrates
Nucella lapillus Dog whelk Invertebrates
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Semibalanus balanoides Invertebrates
Spirorbis spirorbis Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LR.LLR.F.Fves.FS <I>Fucus vesiculosus</I> on full salinity moderately exposed to sheltered mid eulittoral rock 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 A1.3131 Fucus vesiculosus on full salinity moderately exposed to sheltered mid eulittoral rock same
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