Phakellia ventilabrum and axinellid sponges on deep exposed circalittoral rock
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||In deep water (40-50m+) in exposed and very exposed conditions erect cup and branching sponges are found on bedrock and boulders. The sponge Phakellia ventilabrum tends to dominate, although Axinella infundibuliformis, Stelligera spp. and Axinella dissimilis are also characteristic. In deep water Axinella flustra may also be found. Other species included Porella compressa, large Cliona celata and Pachymatisma johnstonia. There are also instances of a variant of this biotope on similarly very exposed, upward- facing bedrock where Phakellia ventilabrum is in relatively high abundance with the ball-shaped sponges Tetilla zetlandica and Tetilla cranium amongst it. Most records of this biotope are from the west coast of Ireland. Nearest similar biotopes (species-wise) are ErSEun which has similar axinellid species, although mainly Axinella dissimilis, and CCParCar which has a few similar elements and might occur at the same sites although in shallower water within reach of wave action / mixing.|
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