Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLBAL - Baltic > BAL8 Sparse or absent epifaunal communities on Baltic infralittoral rock and mixed substrata (predominantly hard)

Sparse or absent epifaunal communities on Baltic infralittoral rock and mixed substrata (predominantly hard)

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code BAL8
Threat status
Europe Least Concern
EU Least Concern
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

This habitat is distributed on Baltic bottoms in the photic zone with at least 90% coverage of rock, boulders or stones of more than 63 mm in diameter but this habitat type also occurs on mixed (predominantly hard) substrates where the percentage of rock is lower than 90% according to the HELCOM Hub classification. Less than 10% of the seabed is covered by perennial vegetation or attached epifauna. In some cases no epibenthic vegetation or macrofauna are present. Six associated biotopes have been identified. These are on rock and mixed (predominantly hard substrates) variously dominated (at least 50% of the biomass) by epibenthic macrocommunity and microphytobenthic organisms and grazing snails or with no macrocommunity The sub-biotope Baltic photic rock and boulders characterized by sparse epibenthic macrocommunity (AA.A2T) only occurs in the Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland and Gulf of Riga and the sub-biotope Baltic photic rock and boulders characterized by microphytobenthic organisms and grazing snails (AA.A2W) only occurs in the Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland.

Indicators of quality:

Both biotic and abiotic indicators have been used to describe marine habitat quality. These include: the presence of characteristic species as well as those which are sensitive to the pressures the habitat may face; water quality parameters; levels of exposure to particular pressure, and more integrated indices which describe habitat structure and function, such as trophic index, or successional stages of development in habitats that have a natural cycle of change over time. There are no commonly agreed indicators of quality for this habitat, although particular parameters may have been set in certain situations e.g. protected features within Natura 2000 sites, where reference values have been determined and applied on a location-specific basis. Diversity, abundance and biomass of associated fauna may be indicators of quality.

Characteristic species
For full habitat description, please download the habitat factsheet.

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

There are no quantitative data on extent and area of the habitat but it is widespread and common. Expert opinion is that the extent is believed to have changed by less than 25% over the past 50 years but the lack of quantitative data on extent, quality and trends over time means that accurate calculations of EOO and AOO are not possible at the present time. This Red List assessment has therefore been based on expert opinion.
The overall assessment for this EUNIS level 4 habitat has been based on the HELCOM (2013) assessments for the associated HELCOM HUB biotopes. Draft assessments were derived using a weighted approach whereby the HELCOM assessment outcomes were assigned a score. This was averaged across the relevant biotopes. The outcomes were reviewed by Baltic experts to reach a final conclusion HELCOM (2013) assessed six relevant Baltic sub-habitats (AA.A2T, AA.A2W, AA.A4U, AA.M2T, AA.M2W, AA.M4U) as Least Concern (A1). With no additional information on changes in extent or quality of this habitat, a known occurrence in all the Baltic Sea sub-basins, and less than a 25% decline in quantity over the last 50 years, current expert opinion is that this habitat should be assessed as Least Concern for the EU 28 and EU 28+.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • No threats or pressures
    • No threats or pressures

Habitat restoration potential

Unknown.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

No conservation and management measures have been identified specifically for this habitat.

List of conservation and management needs

  • No measures
    • No measures needed for the conservation of the habitat/species

Distribution

For each habitat a distribution map was produced from a wide variety of sources indicating known and potential occurrences of the habitat in 10x10 km grids within Europe. Occurrences in grid cells were given in two classes: actual distribution from relatively reliable sources (surveys, expert knowledge), and potential distribution based on models or less reliable indicators. Please download the fact sheet to see the map.

Geographic occurrence and trends

Seas Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Baltic Proper Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
Belt Sea
Gulf of Bothnia
Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Riga
The Sound

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 >50,000 >50 Unknown This habitat is present in all the Baltic sub-basins however there is insufficient information for accurate calculation of EOO and AOO.
EU28+ >50 Unknown This habitat is present in all the Baltic sub-basins however there is insufficient information for accurate calculation of EOO and AOO.
AOO = the area occupied by a habitat measured in number of 10x10 km grid cells.
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).

Characteristic species

The full list of characteristic species and genus are available above from the Summary. The species available in the EUNIS database are shown here.
Invertebrates Potamopyrgus antipodarum
Invertebrates Theodoxus fluviatilis
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Potamopyrgus antipodarum Invertebrates
Theodoxus fluviatilis Invertebrates

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
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