Mastocarpus stellatus and Chondrus crispus on very to moderately exposed lower eulittoral rock
|Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06
|Moderately exposed lower eulittoral bedrock on some shores is characterised by a dense turf of Mastocarpus stellatus and Chondrus crispus (either together or separately) which form a band above the main kelp zone, above Alaria (Ala) or Mytilus (MytB) or within a Fucus serratus-red algal mosaic (Fser.R). Mastocarpus is more resistant to wave action than Chondrus, and may therefore dominate much more exposed shores; it can dominate vertical rock at very exposed sites (e.g. Mingulay, Outer Hebrides). On more sheltered shores, especially in the south-west, Mastocarpus may give way to Chondrus which has a faster growth rate. Beneath these foliose algae the rock surface is covered by encrusting coralline algae. Although both Mastocarpus and Chondrus are widespread in the lower eulittoral and the sublittoral fringe, they occur only infrequently in a distinct band, or in large enough patches, to justify separation from Fser.R. Consequently, where only small patches of these species occur within a larger area of mixed red algal turf, then records should be assigned to the more general mixed red algal turf biotope (XR).
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