Ophiothrix fragilis and/or Ophiocomina nigra beds on slightly tide-swept circalittoral rock or mixed substrata
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Moderately exposed or sheltered slightly tide-swept rock or mixed substrata with dense brittlestar beds, usually dominated by Ophiothrix fragilis but often with Ophiocomina nigra amongst them. At some sites O. nigra was found in larger numbers at some sites particularly in deeper water than the main Ophiothrix bed. Brittle star beds tend to be rather species-poor with coralline crusts, Pomatoceros triqueter, Bolocera tuediae, Urticina felina, Urticina eques, occasional Metridium senile, a few hydroids such as Abietinaria abietina and echinoderms such as Luidia ciliaris and Crossaster papposus fairly typical of the biotope. Alcyonium digitatum may be present, especially on protruding rocks. In the far north of Britain (Shetland, NW Scotland) and part of Ireland Ophiopholis aculeata often replaces Ophiothrix as the dominant brittlestar occurring in dense aggregations (Oph.Oacu).|
|Has Current Version||1|
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