Lichens or small green algae on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock

English name: Lichens or small green algae on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code B3.11

Description (English)

Lichen communities typically form a distinct zone or band in a 'splash' zone on most rocky shores. This splash zone occurs above the main intertidal zone (i.e. that subject to regular covering by the tide) and blends into angiosperm-dominated communities of coastal (terrestrial) habitats at its upper limits. The width of the splash zone varies considerably, depending on the degree of exposure of the shore to wave action. On very exposed coasts the zone is very wide, extending 10s of meters up cliffs, whilst in very sheltered sites it may be only a metre or so high. Several biotopes have been identified. Yellow and grey lichens such as Xanthoria parietina, Caloplaca marina, Caloplaca thallincola or Ramalina sp. dominate the supralittoral rock (B3.111) with the distinctive black band of Verrucaria maura occurring below in the littoral fringe (B3.1131, B3.1132). Small green seaweeds can sometimes be found in this splash zone, where localised conditions allow growth in what would otherwise be inhospitable conditions for seaweeds. Such an example is the green seaweed Prasiola stipitata which occurs in areas of nitrate enrichment from nearby roosting seabirds (B3.112). The littoral fringe on soft rock can be characterised by the green seaweed Blidingia minima (B3.114) while steep and vertical rock influenced by freshwater in the littoral fringe can be dominated by the green seaweeds Ulothrix flacca, Urospora penicilliformis and Urospora wormskioldii (B3.115). The winkle Littorina saxatilis is one of the few 'marine' species found in this environment.
Situation: This habitat type is found in the littoral fringe and the supralittoral zone on all rocky shores if there is sufficient seawater spray to maintain a viable community.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Blidingia minima
Algae Prasiola stipitata
Algae Ulothrix flacca
Algae Urospora penicilliformis
Algae Urospora wormskioldii
Invertebrates Littorina saxatilis
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Blidingia minima Algae
Prasiola stipitata Algae
Ulothrix flacca Algae
Urospora penicilliformis Algae
Urospora wormskioldii Algae
Littorina saxatilis Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LR.FLR.Lic Lichens or small green algae on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock source
CORINE Land Cover 3.3.2. Bare rock n/a
Barcelona Convention 199812 I.4.1. Biocenosis of supralittoral rock same
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types

History

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 B3.11 Lichens or small green algae on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 B3.11 Lichens or small green algae on supralittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 B3.11 Lichens or algal crusts on supralittoral rocks same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 B3.11 Lichens or algal crusts on supralittoral rocks same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 B3.11 Lichens or algal crusts on supralittoral rocks same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A1.11 Lichen-encrusted supralittoral rocks same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) LR.L Lichens or algal crusts same
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) SUR.L   same
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