Kelp and seaweed communities in tide-swept sheltered conditions

English name: Kelp and seaweed communities in tide-swept sheltered conditions

Description (English)

Sheltered infralittoral rock exposed to strong tidal streams. In the sublittoral fringe dense Laminaria digitata is found together with erect seaweeds, sponges, ascidians and bryozoans (A3.221). Below this, on bedrock and stable boulders a canopy of mixed kelp (primarily Laminaria hyperborea and Laminaria saccharina) occurs with foliose red seaweeds, sponges and ascidians (A3.222). This biotope is typically found in the sheltered narrows and sills of Scottish sealochs. Mixed substrata of boulders, cobbles, pebbles and gravel, that also occurs in the tidal rapids of Scottish sealochs, supports a reduced kelp canopy (L. hyperborea and L. saccharina; typically Frequent), with a rich red seaweed component and maerl at some sites (A3.223). In south-west Britain, sheltered, tide-swept rock is restricted to estuarine conditions where variable salinity and increased turbidity of the water have a significant effect on the biota, limiting the infralittoral zone to very shallow depths. Unlike the tide-swept channels in sealochs, the rock in these estuaries is characterised by a relatively low abundance of L. saccharina (< Common) with foliose red seaweeds, sponges and ascidians (A3.224). L. hyperborea is rarely present.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A3.22
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A3)

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Laminaria digitata
Algae Laminaria hyperborea
Algae Laminaria saccharina
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Laminaria digitata Algae
Laminaria hyperborea Algae
Laminaria saccharina Algae

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 IR.MIR.KT Kelp and seaweed communities in tide-swept sheltered conditions 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 A3.22 Kelp and seaweed communities in tide-swept sheltered conditions same
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