Coralline crusts, Parasmittina trispinosa, Caryophyllia smithii, Haliclona viscosa, polyclinids and sparse Corynactis viridis on very exposed circalittoral rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Sparse Corynactis viridis, encrusting bryozoans and coralline algae on clean, often deep circalittoral rock. The fauna is often sparse and has the appearance of being grazed but may also be effected by violent wave action working into deep water during winter storms. Other species include large specimens of the sponge Haliclona viscosa, the bryozoan Parasmittina, the sea cucumber Holothuria sp., the cup coral Caryophyllia and sparse hydroids such as Schizotricha frutescens and Nemertesia antennina. This biotope also contains polyclinid ascidians. There appears to be a northern (Shetland/Orkney) variant of this biotope which is virtually devoid of sponges, whilst Caryophyllia is less common than in the south and west and grazing by Echinus seems to have a marked effect. This biotope may require re-splitting although this is made difficult through the lack of characterising species.
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