Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLMED - Mediterranean > MEDA1.13 Communities of Mediterranean upper mediolittoral rock

Communities of Mediterranean upper mediolittoral rock

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code MEDA1.13
Threat status
Europe Data Deficient
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 occurs in the mediolittoral (surf zone) of the Mediterranean coast on areas of bedrock, boulders and stones.  The associated species are adapted to long periods of emersion. In the upper mediolittoral the main species present are barnacles, periwinkles and limpets forming a belt which may be more than three meters in highly swashed coasts. In the lower part of this habitat, the moister conditions mean that algae can become established and dominate. The characteristic species  include Pyropia elongata, Bangia fuscopurpurea, Polysiphonia sertularioides, Rissoella verruculosa and, on exposed shores of both calcareous and siliceous substrates, brown crusts of Ralfsia verrucosa.

Indicators of quality

Most of the species associated with this habitat are capable of withstanding rather high environmental pressures, even man-induced ones however Rissoella verruculosa, which is characteristic of one of the associated biotopes is sensitive to both pollution and human activities and may therefore be a potential quality indicator.

A "Quality of Rocky Bottoms index" (CFR by its Spanish acronym) used in Spanish Atlantic waters for the assessment of macroalgae communities on rocky shores may have some potentially application in assessment of quality of this habitat.


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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

This habitat has a wide geographical range but despite most of the Mediterranean coast being rocky, quantitative data on its extent are limited. Trends have been inferred in light of past development of harbours, dikes and others coastal structures which suggest that less than 20 % of this habitat has been lost over the last 50 years. This habitat has therefore been assessed as Least Concern for the EU 28.
For EU28+, the habitat has a large EOO, and therefore it qualifies as Least Concern under Criterion B. However, the habitat is assessed as Data Deficient at EU 28+ level given the lack of information on its trends in quantity and quality and the fact that its overall distribution is unknown.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient -

Confidence in the assessment

low
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
    • Industrial or commercial areas
    • Discharges
  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters (limnic, terrestrial, marine & brackish)
  • Invasive, other problematic species and genes
    • Invasive non-native species

Habitat restoration potential

Unknown although some of the dominant species of this habitat are particularly intolerant to various chemical and increases of nutrients with limited recovery capacity. Others such as those the red algae Bangia fuscopurpurea show greater capacity to some disturbance and recovery.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

This habitat is widespread and common and therefore likely to be present within some protected areas although it may not be subject to specific conservation measures. Beneficial actions include those which improve water quality and the regulation of coastal development in order to avoid both direct and indirect damage. Further work is needed to identify management measures to support the conservation of this habitat.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Restoring/Improving water quality
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Other marine-related measures
    • Establish protected areas/sites

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)
Adriatic Sea Present Unknown Unknown Decreasing
Aegian-Levantine Sea
Ionian Sea and the Central Mediterranean Sea
Western Mediterranean Sea

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 2,001,791 459 Unknown EOO and AOO have been calculated on the available data. Although this data set is known to be incomplete the figures exceed the thresholds for threatened status.
EU28+ >486 Unknown EOO and AOO have been calculated on the available data. Although this data set is known to be incomplete the figures exceed the thresholds for threatened status.
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.
Algae Blidingia chadefaudii
Algae Blidingia minima
Algae Hapalospongidion macrocarpum
Algae Hildenbrandia rubra
Algae Polysiphonia sertularioides
Algae Ralfsia verrucosa
Algae Rissoella verruculosa
Algae Scytosiphon lomentaria
Invertebrates Chthamalus montagui
Invertebrates Chthamalus stellatus
Invertebrates Euraphia depressa
Invertebrates Ligia italica
Invertebrates Melarhaphe neritoides
Invertebrates Pachygrapsus marmoratus
Invertebrates Patella rustica
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Blidingia chadefaudii Algae
Blidingia minima Algae
Hapalospongidion macrocarpum Algae
Hildenbrandia rubra Algae
Polysiphonia sertularioides Algae
Ralfsia verrucosa Algae
Rissoella verruculosa Algae
Scytosiphon lomentaria Algae
Chthamalus montagui Invertebrates
Chthamalus stellatus Invertebrates
Euraphia depressa Invertebrates
Ligia italica Invertebrates
Melarhaphe neritoides Invertebrates
Pachygrapsus marmoratus Invertebrates
Patella rustica Invertebrates

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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Denmark
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