Corallina officinalis and coralline crusts in shallow eulittoral rockpools
|Within Vocab||Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 97.06|
|Definition||Shallow rockpools throughout the eulittoral zone may be characterised by a covering of encrusting coralline algae on which Corallina officinalis often forms a dense turf. These 'coralline' pools have a striking appearance as they are dominated predominantly by red algae. Filamentous and foliose red algae found in these pools include Dumontia contorta, Mastocarpus stellatus and Ceramium rubrum. The green algae Cladophora rupestris and Enteromorpha spp. can also occur. The pools may hold large numbers of grazing molluscs, particularly Littorina littorea (which often occurs in exceptionally high densities in upper shore pools), Patella vulgata and Gibbula cineraria. Gastropods may graze these pools to such an extent that they are devoid of any foliose red algae, and are reduced to encrusting coralline algae and large numbers of gastropods. Large brown algae are generally absent (compare with FK), although small Halidrys siliquosa may be present. Within the pools, pits and crevices are often occupied by the anemone Actinia equina and small Mytilus edulis. Similar sized pools in the littoral fringe generally lack the encrusting coralline algae and are characterised by green algae (see G). In Ireland, the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus can dominate these shallow coralline pools (see Cor.Par). In south-west Britain, the brown alga Bifurcaria bifurcata (Cor.Bif) or Cystoseira spp. (Cor.Cys) can be regionally dominant.|
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