Chrysophyceae on vertical upper littoral fringe soft rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|"Chrysophyceae" communities form orange, brownish or blackish gelatinous bands at high tide and supralittoral levels on open cliff faces and in caves and tunnels of soft rock. Open cliff-faces and entrances to chalk caves and tunnels at lower supralittoral levels bear a dark brown band comprising an assemblage dominated by Apistonema carterae. During summer this gelatinous growth dries and often peels off. The filamentous green alga Epicladia perforans is often associated with Apistonema, forming a green layer beneath the upper layer of Apistonema. Entodesmsis maritima and Thallochrysis litoralis are commonly associated with Apistonema. Associated with this splash zone algal community is an assemblage of animals of terrestrial origin, with red mites, insects and centipedes commonly found. These species descend into the community as the tide falls and retreat as the tide rises. The most common truly marine species is the small winkle Littorina neritoides.
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