Alcyonium digitatum with dense Tubularia indivisa and anemones on strongly tide-swept circalittoral rock
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Occurs mainly in sounds, narrows and around tide-swept promontories in accelerated tidal streams. Alcyonium digitatum forms an almost continuous cushion in some locations with dense tufts to continuous cover of Tubularia indivisa on exposed edges and ridges. Actinothoe sphyrodeta, Sagartia elegans, Cliona celata and Corynactis viridis are often prominent components of the community. Hydroids, such as Sertularia argentea and Abietinaria abietina, and the horn wrack Flustra foliacea may be present. In some situations, e.g. Kyle Rhea, Strangford Narrows, Skye and the Mull of Galloway, the sponge and anemone component is more prominent (may warrant inclusion in AlcMaS). In increased tidal flow species richness falls and a Balanus crenatus biotope (ECR.BalTub) develops. In weaker tides, and in some parts of the country in similar habitat conditions (e.g. Welsh coasts), Alcyonium can still be fairly dense but a more species-rich biotope prevails (ECR.AlcMaS). In some cases dense Tubularia is found growing through sheets of sponges (see ECR.TubS).|
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