Laminaria saccharina and Laminaria digitata on sheltered sublittoral fringe rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Sheltered bedrock and boulders in the sublittoral fringe may be characterised by a mixed canopy of the kelps Laminaria digitata (usually in its broad-fronded cape form) and Laminaria saccharina (both species generally frequent or greater). Beneath the canopy a wide variety of red seaweeds, including Palmaria palmata, Corallina officinalis, Mastocarpus stellatus, Chondrus crispus and Plocamium cartilagineum, may be present. The surface of the rock is usually covered with encrusting coralline algae; there may be patches of the sponge Halichondria panicea frequently occurs in cracks in the rock. Beneath and between boulders a variety of mobile crustaceans (Carcinus maenas, Cancer pagurus and Porcellana platycheles), spirorbid worms, starfish (Asterias rubens) and encrusting bryozoans are common. On such sheltered shores the transition between sublittoral fringe and the true sublittoral zone may not be distinct; this biotope therefore extends into the shallow sublittoral.
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