Littoral Sabellaria reefs

English name: Littoral honeycomb worm reefs

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A2.71

Description (English)

The sedentary polychaete Sabellaria alveolata (honeycomb worm) builds tubes from sand and shell. On exposed shores, where there is a plentiful supply of sediment, S. alveolata can form honeycomb reefs on boulders and low-lying bedrock on the mid to lower shore. These S. alveolata reefs are quite distinct from the mosaic of seaweeds and barnacles or red seaweeds (A1.2) generally associated with moderately exposed rocky shores though many of the same species are present. These include the anemone Actinia equina, the barnacles Semibalanus balanoides and Elminius modestus, the limpet Patella vulgata, the top shell Gibbula cineraria and the winkle Littorina littorea. The whelk Nucella lappilus and the mussel Mytilus edulis is also present on the boulders whereas the polychaete Lanice conchilega is restricted to the associated sediment areas. Scour resistent red seaweeds including Palmaria palmata, Corallina ifficinalis, Mastocarpus stellatus, Chondrus crispus, Ceramium nodulosum, Osmundea pinnatifida, Polysiphonia spp. and coralline crusts can also be present where suitable substrata exsist. Brown and green seaweeds also present include Fucus serratus, Fucus vesioculosus, Cladostephus spongiosus, Enteromorpha intestinalis and Ulva lactuca.
Situation: Above A2.71 are biotopes dominated either by ephemeral seaweeds, such as Enteromorpha spp. and Porphyra spp. or the perennial wrack Fucus vesiculosus on mixed substrata (A1.213; A1.3132; A2.821; A1.452). Rockpool biotopes dominated by the red seaweed Corallina officinalis (A1.411), by wracks such as Fucus spp. or by kelp such as Laminaria spp. (A1.412) can usually be found above this biotope. Beneath this biotope is a community consisting of mixed scour-tolerant like the kelp Laminaria digitata and opportunistic foliose red seaweeds such as Polyides rotundus and Ahnfeltia plicata (A3.2111; A3.125; A3.127).

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Algae Ahnfeltia plicata
Algae Chondrus crispus
Algae Cladostephus spongiosus
Algae Corallina officinalis
Algae Enteromorpha intestinalis
Algae Fucus serratus
Algae Fucus vesiculosus
Algae Laminaria digitata
Algae Mastocarpus stellatus
Algae Osmundea pinnatifida
Algae Palmaria palmata
Algae Polyides rotundus
Algae Ulva lactuca
Invertebrates Actinia equina
Invertebrates Elminius modestus
Invertebrates Gibbula cineraria
Invertebrates Lanice conchilega
Invertebrates Littorina littorea
Invertebrates Mytilus edulis
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Invertebrates Sabellaria alveolata
Invertebrates Semibalanus balanoides
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Ahnfeltia plicata Algae
Chondrus crispus Algae
Cladostephus spongiosus Algae
Corallina officinalis Algae
Enteromorpha intestinalis Algae
Fucus serratus Algae
Fucus vesiculosus Algae
Laminaria digitata Algae
Mastocarpus stellatus Algae
Osmundea pinnatifida Algae
Palmaria palmata Algae
Polyides rotundus Algae
Ulva lactuca Algae
Actinia equina Invertebrates
Elminius modestus Invertebrates
Gibbula cineraria Invertebrates
Lanice conchilega Invertebrates
Littorina littorea Invertebrates
Mytilus edulis Invertebrates
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Sabellaria alveolata Invertebrates
Semibalanus balanoides Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 LS.LBR.Sab Littoral <I>Sabellaria</I> honeycomb worm reefs 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 A2.71 Littoral Sabellaria reefs same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A1.26 Littoral Sabellaria honeycomb worm reefs same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A1.26 Sabellaria reefs on littoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199910 A1.25 Sabellaria reefs on littoral rock same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199811 A1.25 Littoral Sabellaria reefs same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 199712 A1.35 Honeycomb worm Sabellaria alveolata reefs same
MNCR BioMar 97.06 (Britain & Ireland) MLR.Sab Littoral Sabellaria (honeycomb worm) reefs same
MNCR BioMar 96.7 (Britain & Ireland) MLR.Sab   same
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