Barnacles and Lichina pygmaea on steep exposed upper eulittoral rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Areas of steep and vertical rock in the upper eulittoral on exposed shores are often characterised by the lichen Lichina pygmaea. In some areas, a high abundance of this lichen results in a distinct Lichina zone, particularly in the south. On Chthamalus-dominated shores (south and west coasts) this band of Lichina lies within the barnacle zone, whereas on Semibalanus shores (north and east coasts) this biotope lies astride the upper limit of the barnacles. The band of Lichina, therefore, generally lies between the Verrucaria zone (Ver) above and the barnacle-Patella zone (BPat.Sem) below. Within the Lichina zone, the barnacles Chthamalus montagui and Chthamalus stellatus are common, although long-established patches of Lichina ultimately exclude barnacles. The rigid branching thallus of Lichina provides an ideal habitat for the molluscs Lasaea rubra and Littorina neritoides. Other upper shore biotopes (Ver.B, Ver.Por) may contain occasional patches of Lichina pygmaea, particularly on steep sunny faces, though not forming a distinct zone. L. pygmaea also occurs on less steeply sloping shores, provided they are in a sunny aspect.
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