Cushion sponges (Polymastia boletiformis, Tethya), stalked sponges, Nemertesia spp. and Pentapora foliacea on moderately exposed circalittoral rock
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Bedrock, boulders and cobbles in a variety of wave exposures (usually exposed and moderately exposed), often with a light covering of silt. This biotope does not usually occur deeper than 15-20 m and therefore often borders the upper circalittoral and lower infralittoral. The sponge cover usually appears patchy with no one species obviously dominant although the yellow Polymastia spp. orange Esperiopsis fucorum and tufts of hydroids Nemertesia spp. on the tops of boulders and rocky ridges tend to stand out more clearly then the under-storey of finer hydroids and bryozoans. Polymastia boletiformis forms frequent cushions on the silty rock, often with Tethya, P. mamillaris, Hemimycale and Pentapora nearby at similar densities. Some branched sponges, particularly Raspailia ramosa and Stelligera stuposa are found in moderate abundance. Under-boulders may have sponge crusts such as Terpios fugax with the tubeworm Bispira volutacornis between the boulders. Candy-striped flatworm Prostheceraeus vittatus often found at sites with this biotope in Cardigan Bay as well Epizoanthus couchii and less often Isozoanthus sulcatus. The physical habitat in this biotope is somewhere between that described in the ErSEun and the less stable cobble and pebble plains in SNemAdia and is characterised by species typical of a moderate degree of stability although also contains some typical of the more ephemeral and/or scoured biotopes.|
|Has Current Version||1|
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