Erect sponges, Eunicella verrucosa and Pentapora foliacea on slightly tide-swept moderately exposed circalittoral rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Mainly found on exposed and moderately exposed rock, in slight tidal currents and often relatively silty, with a rich variety of species typically including branching and cup sponges, the seafan Eunicella verrucosa and the ross coral Pentapora foliacea. Typically a bryozoan turf of Cellaria spp. and Bugula spp. is present amongst the larger species (see Bug). The branching sponges Axinella dissimilis, Stelligera spp. and Raspailia spp. are typically present, with cup sponges Axinella infundibuliformis and Phakellia ventilabrum found in some cases. Alcyonium glomeratum and Parerythropodium coralloides may also be present and short vertical faces sometimes have the star anemone Parazoanthus axinellae and/or P. anguicomus. There are numerous examples of sites with lots of branching and cup sponges where seafans have not been found (but are often known to be present within the same geographical area); some of these are included in ErSPbolSH. Diazona violacea is also often recorded in this biotope although it occurs in ErSSwi also. There are a few instances of Swiftia pallida being found at the same sites (in SW Ireland) as Eunicella verrucosa. Where this biotope occurs on more open coast (e.g. SW Britain and W Ireland) the cotton spinner sea cucumber Holothuria forskali is often present.
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