Red List habitat classification > RL - Marine habitats > RLNEA - Atlantic > NEAA3.16 Faunal communities of high energy Atlantic infralittoral rock

Faunal communities of high energy Atlantic infralittoral rock

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code NEAA3.16
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)


This habitat includes dense populations of Mytilus galloprovincialis, on high energy infralittoral rocky seabed, up to 6-8 meters depth. The specimens are strongly attached to each other by the byssus threads, which makes them extremely endurable to rough sea. Several layers of mussels can occur on the rock. Under them the rock is covered by abundant Balanus perforatus that can also be attached to the shells of the mussels.

Indicators of Quality:

Both biotic and abiotic indicators have been used to describe marine habitat quality. These include: the presence of characteristic species, in this case Mytilus galloprovincialis 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 overtime.

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

This habitat was proposed as a separate EUNIS habitat in 2013 consequently there is a lack of data on its range, area, extent and any trends in quantity or quality. For the purposes of Red List assessment it is therefore considered to be Data Deficient for both the EU 28 and EU 28+.
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

  • Biological resource use other than agriculture & forestry
    • Fishing and harvesting aquatic resources
  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters (limnic, terrestrial, marine & brackish)

Habitat restoration potential

Unknown, although because this habitat occurs in high energy situations it likely to be a robust and capable of recovery depending on availablity of larvae and successful spat falls of the characteristic species Mytilus galloprovincialis.

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

This habitat has was proposed as a separate EUNIS habitat in 2013. No specific conservation and management measures have been identified at the present time.

List of conservation and management needs

  • No measures
    • No measure known / impossible to carry out specific 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 Unknown Unknown Unknown Insufficient records for reliable estimate.
EU28+ Unknown Unknown Insufficient records for reliable estimate.
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

Not available

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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