Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLNEA - Atlantic > NEAA1.31 Fucoids on sheltered Atlantic littoral rock

Fucoids on sheltered Atlantic littoral rock

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code NEAA1.31
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)


Dense blankets of fucoid seaweeds dominating sheltered to extremely sheltered rocky shores and/or in locally sheltered patches of rocky shore that are exposed/moderately exposed to wave action. The habitat is found in sheltered areas such as inlets and bays below the lichen dominated zone and above the kelp dominated zone in the sublittoral. It also occurs in sheltered patches on more wave exposed shores such as the north coast of Spain and Portugal.

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.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

Detailed information on the abundance and extent of this habitat is lacking but survey information reveals that it has a wide range and is not restricted to a few locations (e.g. present on the, Atlantic coasts of Portugal and Spain, the Channel coast of France, the UK and the Kattegat coast of Sweden).
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. Where this habitat has been studied in detail some trends in quantity and quality have been reported over various time scales however, there is insufficient information to provide an overall estimate of historical, recent and possible future trends in quantity and quality.
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 due to lack of information on trends in quantity and quality.
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Data Deficient

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Pollution
    • Oil spills in the sea
    • Other forms of pollution
  • Climate change
    • Changes in abiotic conditions
    • Temperature changes (e.g. rise of temperature & extremes)

Habitat restoration potential

Thee effects of chronic impacts on this habitat are generally 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.

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

General conservation and management measures which would benefit this habitat 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, and measure to reduce global warming and sea level rise.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Restoring/Improving water quality
  • Measures related to marine habitats
    • Other marine-related measures
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Other marine-related measures
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Legal protection of habitats and species
  • Measures related to hunting, taking and fishing and species management
    • Other species management measures


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

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 422,653 658 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+ 658 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 Ascophyllum nodosum
Algae Fucus serratus
Algae Fucus spiralis
Algae Fucus vesiculosus
Algae Pelvetia canaliculata
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Ascophyllum nodosum Algae
Fucus serratus Algae
Fucus spiralis Algae
Fucus vesiculosus Algae
Pelvetia canaliculata Algae

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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