Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLNEA - Atlantic > NEAA1.21 Barnacles and fucoids on moderately wave-exposed Atlantic littoral rock

Barnacles and fucoids on moderately wave-exposed Atlantic littoral rock

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code NEAA1.21
Threat status
Europe Data Deficient
EU Data Deficient
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

Rocky shores in the mid- and lower eulittoral zone moderately exposed to wave action, characterised by a mosaic of fucoids and barnacles on bedrock and boulders. The extent of the fucoid cover is typically less than the blanket cover associated with sheltered shores except on the lower shore where there may be dense Fucus serratus. There is typically a lichen zone above and a kelp-dominated community below in the sublittoral zone. Where the moderately exposed lower shore rock is sand-influenced it can be characterised by dense mats of Rhodothamniella floridula. The presence of boulders and cobbles on the shore can increase the micro-habitat diversity, which often results in a greater species richness (crabs, tube-forming polychaetes such as Pomatoceros triquiter, sponges and bryozoans).

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.  Indicators which have been developed for the assessment of ecological quality of coastal water bodies for the Water Framework Directive (WFD) that are relevant to this habitat include a consideration of macroalgae species richness, proportions of different taxa of algae present, and the abundance and coverage of the rocky surfaces by typical species. 

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

Local and/or seasonal factors often exert a substantial influence on intertidal habitats making it difficult to distinguish any long-term trend across the region. This is complicated further because differences between localities are often linked to differences in geographical latitude and, therefore, to differences in climatic traits like temperature and/or ice cover.
The general distribution of this habitat is well known, it is not considered to be restricted and its extent has been mapped in detail in some locations (e.g. some Marine Protected Areas and monitoring stations). There are studies showing short and long term trends in extent and quality, for example following natural events such as severe weather conditions or pollution incidents such as oil spills, but no overview of trends in quantity and quality across the North East Atlantic.
This habitat has a large EOO and AOO, and therefore qualifies as Least Concern under criterion B. However the habitat is assessed as Data Deficient both at the EU 28 and EU 28+ levels given the lack of information on trends in quantity and quality.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient -
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

  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters (limnic, terrestrial, marine & brackish)
    • Marine water pollution
    • Oil spills in the sea
  • Climate change
    • Changes in abiotic conditions
    • Temperature changes (e.g. rise of temperature & extremes)
    • Wave exposure changes
    • Sea-level changes
    • Changes in biotic conditions
    • Habitat shifting and alteration
    • Migration of species (natural newcomers)

Habitat restoration potential

Generally the effects of chronic impacts on this habitat are reversible provided the disturbance is stopped. Recovery from acute impacts is also possible but may take much longer depending on the scale and type of impact. Studies on recovery following an oil spill suggest that recovery can take 10-15 years.

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

There are few specific conservation and management measures that can be directed at this habitat.
More general beneficial measures include pollution control and regulation, development control and contingency plans to be followed in the event of a major pollution incident, survey and monitoring programmes, raised public awareness of their ecological value and vulnerability, representation in marine protected areas and measures to reduce global warming and sea level rise.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to marine habitats
    • Other marine-related measures
  • 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)
Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Celtic Seas
Greater North Sea
Macaronesia
Kattegat

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 403,797 553 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+ 553 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 Fucus serratus
Algae Fucus vesiculosus
Algae Mastocarpus stellatus
Algae Pelvetia canaliculata
Algae Rhodothamniella floridula
Invertebrates Littorina littorea
Invertebrates Patella vulgata
Invertebrates Semibalanus balanoides
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Fucus serratus Algae
Fucus vesiculosus Algae
Mastocarpus stellatus Algae
Pelvetia canaliculata Algae
Rhodothamniella floridula Algae
Littorina littorea Invertebrates
Patella vulgata Invertebrates
Semibalanus balanoides Invertebrates

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
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