Corynactis viridis, Metridium senile and Alcyonium digitatum on exposed or moderately exposed vertical infralittoral rock
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Vertical walls in exposed or moderately exposed, wave-surged or tide-swept areas with Corynactis viridis, dwarf Metridium senile and Alcyonium digitatum. This biotope may show a large variation in relative abundances of the characterising species, some appearing to be dominated by Corynactis or Alcyonium or Metridium alone. Beneath and between these species, sponge crusts and polyclinid ascidians may be present and where sufficient light is available, encrusting coralline algae and tufts of foliose red seaweeds. This biotope may be found in deeper gullies below the more wave-surged biotopes (see EIR.SCAs and EIR.SCAn), or on vertical cliffs found within the kelp zone (EIR.LhypFa or EIR.LhypR). When Alcyonium occurs at high abundance in this biotope, it may be confused with the more sheltered biotope in which Alcyonium also dominates (IR.AlcByH). The latter, deeper biotope, lacks the associated surge-tolerant species such as encrusting sponges and anemones (e.g. Corynactis and Sagartia elegans). As it is less wave-surged than EIR.SCAn.Tub, this biotope lacks such high densities of Tubularia and Mytilus, but contains a greater abundance of turf-forming bryozoans such as crisiids. This biotope occurs at a similar depth and in similar conditions to the sponge crust, polyclinid ascidian and bryozoan / hydroid biotope (EIR.SCAs.ByH), although the latter is more affected by sand scour, allowing the ascidians to dominate over the anemones.|
|Has Current Version||1|
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