Dendrodoa grossularia and Clathrina coriacea on wave-surged vertical infralittoral rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Vertical and overhanging wave-surged rock that is subject to some scour especially in the middle or back of caves but also in gullies and tunnels, are often dominated by dense sheets of Dendrodoa grossularia with the sponge Clathrina coriacea. At some sites Dendrodoa may form continuous sheets, with few other species present. Other sponges such as Esperiopsis fucorum, Pachymatisma johnstonia and Halichondria panicea regularly occur in this biotope, though generally at low abundance. Other ascidians, especially Polyclinum aurantium, Diplosoma and other didemnids may also occur, though only Polyclinum is ever as abundant as Dendrodoa. Being characteristically found in the middle or towards the backs of the caves mean that there is generally insufficient light to support any foliose seaweeds in this biotope, though encrusting coralline algae are not uncommon. As with the other sponge and ascidian- dominated biotopes, anemones may occur, though scouring prevents them dominating over the ascidians. Micro-habitats protected from sand scour may also contain anemones, such as Sagartia elegans and Metridium senile, though they never dominate this biotope (compare with EIR.SCAn).
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