Caryophyllia smithii and sponges with Pentapora foliacea, Porella compressa and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock

English name: Caryophyllia smithii and sponges with Pentapora foliacea, Porella compressa and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A4.2122
Bern Convention Included in a Resolution 4 habitat type at a higher level (A4)

Description (English)

This variant is typically found on the upper faces and vertical sides of wave-exposed bedrock or boulders subject to moderately strong to weak tidal streams. The fauna is often sparse with the frequently observed Echinus esculentus giving it a grazed appearance, but the community may also be affected by violent storm action working into deep water during winter storms. Despite this spartan appearance, the community is relatively diverse and contains a wide range of sponges, hydroids, bryozoans and echinoderms. This variant is found on open coasts or offshore, and is characterised by the cup-coral Caryophyllia smithii, Alcyonium digitatum, the sea urchin Echinus esculentus, large specimens of the sponge Cliona celata, encrusting bryozoans and encrusting red algae. Although this variant tends to occur in deep water (depth range of 20-30m), a high degree of water clarity allows some red algae to grow at these depths. Other species recorded include large specimens of Haliclona viscosa, the bryozoans Parasmittina trispinosa, Porella compressa and Pentapora foliacea, the sea cucumbers Holothuria forskali and Aslia lefevrei and sparse hydroids such as Abietinaria abietina, Nemertesia antennina, Nemertesia ramosa and Halecium halecinum. Anemones such as Corynactis viridis, Sagartia elegans and Urticina felina are also frequently seen. Various other species characteristic of wave-exposed rock include the sponges Pachymatisma johnstonia, Stelligera stuposa, the starfish Luidia ciliaris, Marthasterias glacialis, Asterias rubens, Henricia oculata, the crinoid Antedon bifida, the barnacle Balanus crenatus, the top shell Calliostoma zizyphinum and the polychaete Pomatoceros triqueter. The majority of the records within this variant originate from the west coast of Ireland.
Situation: Exposed kelp forest and park biotopes such as unit A3.115 with species such as Laminaria hyperborea are typically found shallower than this biotope. Deeper, this biotope is believed to graduate into A4.121 (deep erect sponges), as both these biotopes are common around the west coast of Ireland.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Abietinaria abietina
Invertebrates Alcyonium digitatum
Invertebrates Antedon bifida
Invertebrates Aslia lefevrei
Invertebrates Asterias rubens
Invertebrates Balanus crenatus
Invertebrates Calliostoma zizyphinum
Invertebrates Caryophyllia smithii
Invertebrates Cliona celata
Invertebrates Corynactis viridis
Invertebrates Echinus esculentus
Invertebrates Haliclona viscosa
Invertebrates Henricia oculata
Invertebrates Holothuria forskali
Algae Laminaria hyperborea
Invertebrates Luidia ciliaris
Invertebrates Marthasterias glacialis
Invertebrates Nemertesia antennina
Invertebrates Nemertesia ramosa
Invertebrates Pachymatisma johnstonia
Invertebrates Parasmittina trispinosa
Invertebrates Pomatoceros triqueter
Invertebrates Porella compressa
Invertebrates Sagartia elegans
Invertebrates Stelligera stuposa
Invertebrates Urticina felina
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Abietinaria abietina Invertebrates
Alcyonium digitatum Invertebrates
Antedon bifida Invertebrates
Aslia lefevrei Invertebrates
Asterias rubens Invertebrates
Balanus crenatus Invertebrates
Calliostoma zizyphinum Invertebrates
Caryophyllia smithii Invertebrates
Cliona celata Invertebrates
Corynactis viridis Invertebrates
Echinus esculentus Invertebrates
Haliclona viscosa Invertebrates
Henricia oculata Invertebrates
Holothuria forskali Invertebrates
Laminaria hyperborea Algae
Luidia ciliaris Invertebrates
Marthasterias glacialis Invertebrates
Nemertesia antennina Invertebrates
Nemertesia ramosa Invertebrates
Pachymatisma johnstonia Invertebrates
Parasmittina trispinosa Invertebrates
Pomatoceros triqueter Invertebrates
Porella compressa Invertebrates
Sagartia elegans Invertebrates
Stelligera stuposa Invertebrates
Urticina felina Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
Marine Habitat Classification Britain/Ireland 0405 CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSp.PenPcom <I>Caryophyllia smithii</I> and sponges with <I>Pentapora foliacea</I>, <I>Porella compressa</I> and crustose communities on wave-exposed 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 A4.2122 Caryophyllia smithii and sponges with Pentapora foliacea, Porella compressa and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock same
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