Faunal and algal crusts, Echinus esculentus, sparse Alcyonium digitatum and grazing-tolerant fauna on moderately exposed circalittoral rock
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Moderately exposed circalittoral rock in slight tides with a rather barren appearance (reminiscent of a brittlestar bed after the brittlestars have moved elsewhere - brittlestars Ophiothrix fragilis recorded in moderate abundance). Can be sand/sediment scoured or grazed. Usually small Alcyonium digitatum, some Abietinaria abietina and sparse Nemertesia spp. present. Also Urticina felina, often associated with patches of muddy shell gravel and sand, or on North Sea coasts Urticina eques. Most of rock surface with coralline or non-coralline red algal crusts as well as patches of bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa. Echinus esculentus common in some areas and Pomatoceros triqueter found throughout, especially on vertical faces. The richer examples of this biotope also have Caryophyllia smithii, Antedon bifida, delicate hydroids, ascidians such as Ascidia mentula and holothurians such as Aslia lefevrei and Pawsonia saxicola, which may appear seasonally, in more cryptic habitats. Regional variants occur - e.g. with Thuiaria thuja and Bolocera tuediae on North Sea coasts. Under-boulders and crevices often have Pawsonia saxicola, Galathea spp., encrusting sponges, terebellids, Pododesmus patelliformis and Munida rugosa.|
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