Fucus vesiculosus and barnacle mosaics on moderately exposed mid eulittoral rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Moderately exposed mid eulittoral bedrock and boulders are frequently characterised by a mosaic of barnacles (mainly Semibalanus balanoides, but Chthamalus spp. in the south-west) and the bladder wrack Fucus vesiculosus. The limpet Patella vulgata is also typically present, with small Mytilus edulis confined to crevices. This biotope forms an intermediate along the wave exposure gradient between the exposed-shore barnacle-Patella biotope (BPat) and the sheltered shore Fucus vesiculosus biotope (Fves). It is distinguished from BPat by the presence of short, but vesiculate Fucus vesiculosus (typically frequent-common in this biotope) and its greater variety of red algae and from Fves by its greater abundance of barnacles and lower abundance of Fucus vesiculosus. Vertical surfaces tend to be dominated by the barnacle-Patella biotope (BPat). On some shores, particularly those which are moderately exposed to wave action, long-term changes in the abundance of limpets, barnacles and fucoid algae may occur. As a result, over a number of years, a single shore may cycle between the barnacle-Patella dominated biotope (BPat), through this mosaic (FvesB) to a F. vesiculosus-dominated biotope (Fves).
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