Caryophyllia smithii and Swiftia pallida on circalittoral rock

English name: Caryophyllia smithii and Swiftia pallida on circalittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A4.211
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A4)

Description (English)

This biotope is typically found on the upper and vertical faces of very exposed through to wave-sheltered circalittoral bedrock and boulders, which are typically subject to weak tidal streams. It is characterised by dense aggregations of the cup coral Caryophyllia smithii and the sea fan Swiftia pallida on the silty substratum. Under the silt, bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa and encrusting red algae may be seen. This biotope may have a grazed appearance, perhaps attributable to the frequently occurring Echinus esculentus. There may be a sparse hydroid turf present, with species such as Nemertesia antennina, Nemertesia ramosa and Halecium halecinum present. The soft corals Alcyonium glomeratum and Alcyonium digitatum may be present on the tops of boulders along with the crinoids Antedon petasus and Antedon bifida. Other echinoderms occasionally observed include the starfish Marthasterias glacialis, Asterias rubens and Luidia ciliaris. Sponges feature only occasionally in this biotope, including species such as Cliona celata. The bryozoan Porella compressa may also be recorded. Ascidians occasionally present include Ascidia mentula, Clavelina lepadiformis and Ciona intestinalis. Under-boulder fauna typically consists of the crustacean Munida rugosa. The polychaete Pomatoceros triqueter may be seen encrusting the rocky surface. Two variants of this biotope have been identified; Units A4.2111 and A4.2112. A4.2111 is a heavily silted biotope characterised by the sea fan S. pallida, the cup coral C. smithii and the soft coral A. glomeratum and is only present in Irish waters. A4.2112 has been recorded off the west coast of Scotland, and is characterised by large solitary ascidians and the cup coral C. smithii.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Alcyonium digitatum
Invertebrates Antedon bifida
Invertebrates Antedon petasus
Invertebrates Ascidia mentula
Invertebrates Asterias rubens
Invertebrates Caryophyllia smithii
Invertebrates Ciona intestinalis
Invertebrates Clavelina lepadiformis
Invertebrates Cliona celata
Invertebrates Echinus esculentus
Invertebrates Luidia ciliaris
Invertebrates Marthasterias glacialis
Invertebrates Munida rugosa
Invertebrates Nemertesia antennina
Invertebrates Nemertesia ramosa
Invertebrates Parasmittina trispinosa
Invertebrates Pomatoceros triqueter
Invertebrates Porella compressa
Invertebrates Swiftia pallida
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Alcyonium digitatum Invertebrates
Antedon bifida Invertebrates
Antedon petasus Invertebrates
Ascidia mentula Invertebrates
Asterias rubens Invertebrates
Caryophyllia smithii Invertebrates
Ciona intestinalis Invertebrates
Clavelina lepadiformis Invertebrates
Cliona celata Invertebrates
Echinus esculentus Invertebrates
Luidia ciliaris Invertebrates
Marthasterias glacialis Invertebrates
Munida rugosa Invertebrates
Nemertesia antennina Invertebrates
Nemertesia ramosa Invertebrates
Parasmittina trispinosa Invertebrates
Pomatoceros triqueter Invertebrates
Porella compressa Invertebrates
Swiftia pallida Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSwi <I>Caryophyllia smithii</I> and <I>Swiftia pallida</I> on circalittoral rock 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 A4.211 Caryophyllia smithii and Swiftia pallida on circalittoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A3.614 Erect sponges and Swiftia pallida on slightly tide-swept moderately exposed circalittoral rock wider
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A3.614 Erect sponges and Swiftia pallida on slightly tide-swept moderately exposed circalittoral rock overlap
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A3.614 Erect sponges and Swiftia pallida on slightly tide-swept moderately exposed circalittoral rock overlap
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) MCR.XFa.ErSSwi Erect sponges and Swiftia pallida on slightly tide-swept moderately exposed circalittoral rock overlap
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