Laminaria hyperborea forest with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed upper infralittoral rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Very exposed and exposed upper infralittoral bedrock or large boulders characterised by a dense forest of the kelp Laminaria hyperborea, beneath which is a dense turf of foliose red seaweeds. The dense seaweed turf is due, in part, to the relatively low urchin-grazing pressure in such shallow exposed conditions. The shallowest kelp plants are often short or stunted, while deeper plants are taller with heavily epiphytised stipes. Amongst the red seaweeds, an often dense turf of the bryozoans Scrupocellaria spp. and Securiflustra securifrons may occur. The cushion fauna in this biotope is markedly less abundant than kelp forests in areas of greater wave surge (EIR.LhypFa) and whilst sponges, anemones and polyclinid ascidians may be present, they do not occur at high abundance. Beneath the under-storey the rock surface is generally covered with encrusting coralline algae. This kelp forest most commonly occurs beneath a zone of Alaria/Mytilus (EIR.Ala.Myt) and above a L. hyperborea park (EIR.LhypR.Pk) or a park of L. saccharina and/ or Saccorhiza polyschides (EIR.LsacSac).
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