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LR.MLR.BF.Fser.Pid
Fucus serratus and piddocks on lower eulittoral soft rock

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Moderately exposed 
 Tidal streams:  
 Substratum: Bedrock; boulders 
 Zone: Eulittoral - lower 
 Depth Band: Lower shore, Mid shore 
 Other Features: Soft rock (chalk) 

Download comparative physical and biological data. The comparative tables enable a rapid comparison of the species composition and principal physical characteristics between a given set of biotopes.

Previous code

This biotope occurred in previous versions of the classification as:
LRK.FSE.PID - Version: 6.95

Distribution of habitat LR.MLR.BF.Fser.Pid  Fucus serratus and piddocks on lower eulittoral soft rock
Distribution of habitat LR.MLR.BF.Fser.Pid Fucus serratus and piddocks on lower eulittoral soft rock, based on records on the UK Marine Recorder database and EUSeaMap. Red dots represent records on which the biotope is based. Blue dots show other certain records, black dots show records tentatively assigned to this biotope. Yellow areas show level 2 and 3 sublittoral and deep-sea habitats prediced by EUSeaMap within UK waters.

Biotope description

The lower eulittoral zone on soft rock shores (e.g. chalk) characterised by the wrack Fucus serratus. Much of the community associated with this biotope is the same as the biotope Fserr.FS, but certain taxa are specific to the soft underlying substrata. Rock-boring fauna including the piddocks Barnea spp., Pholas dactylus and Hiatella arctica can occur in dense aggregations. Burrowing polychaetes such as Polydora spp. can also occur in high numbers only visible due to their long, slender palps waving in the water as they occupy holes in the top few centimetres of the rock. A dense red algal turf occurs beneath the F. serratus and includes Gelidium pusillum, Osmundea pinnatifida, Palmaria palmata, Lomentaria articulata and Rhodothamniella floridula, but also calcareous algae such as Corallina officinalis and coralline crusts including the red-violet encrusting algae Phymatolithon lenormandii are present. Infaunal taxa such as various amphipods may be common amongst the seaweeds. The empty piddock holes may provide a refuge for species such as the anemone Actinia equina and the mussel Mytilus edulis while the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides, the limpet Patella vulgata can be present on the surface of the soft rock. The whelk Nucella lapillus, the winkles Littorina littorea and Littorina mariae and the top shell Gibbula cineraria are all present on the soft rock among the seaweeds. The high number of characterising species is partly caused by the low number of records used to define this biotope. The high % frequency of occurrence is partly a result of the low number of records. More data is needed to validate this biotope description.

Situation

This biotope usually occurs immediately below either a Fucus vesiculosus-barnacle mosaic (FvesB) or a Mytilus edulis and piddocks-dominated biotope (MytPid) on moderately exposed shores or a dense canopy of F. vesiculosus (Fves) or Ascophyllum nodosum (Asc.FS) on sheltered shores. The littoral fringe below are on moderately exposed shores dominated by the kelp Laminaria digitata (Ldig.Pid), while the kelp Laminaria saccharina may co-dominate on sheltered shores (Lsac.Ldig; Lsac.Ft).

Temporal variation

Unknown, but probably as Fserr.FS

Similar biotopes

LR.LLR.F.Fserr.FSOccurs on hard bedrock. Has a similar species composition, but lacks the rock-boring piddocks such as H. arctica and P. dactylus or burrowing polychaetes such as Polydora spp.
LR.MLR.BF.Fser.ROccurs on bedrock, but otherwise similar physical conditions. Has a similar species composition, but lack the rock-boring piddocks such as H. arctica and P. dactylus or burrowing polychaetes such as Polydora spp. The encrusting calcareous red algae Phymatolithon lenormandii are also missing.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity
Actinia equina R 2
Polydora A 7
Pomatoceros lamarcki O 2
Semibalanus balanoides F 5
Amphipoda C 4
Gibbula cineraria O 1
Patella vulgata O 5
Littorina littorea O 4
Littorina mariae O 4
Nucella lapillus P 1
Mytilus edulis P 1
Hiatella arctica O 2
Pholas dactylus C 2
Gelidium pusillum O 2
Palmaria palmata O 2
Rhodothamniella floridula P 1
Corallinaceae C 3
Corallina officinalis F 5
Phymatolithon lenormandii C 5
Chondrus crispus F 3
Lomentaria articulata O 2
Osmundea pinnatifida C 5
Fucus serratus A 17
Ulva lactuca O 3

Example photographs of biotope


Chalk broken open to display piddock, Pholas dactylus, Birling Gap, David George, © JNCC
Click on an image for a larger view


Version 15.03 of the classification adds a deep-sea section to version 04.05; therefore superseding version 04.05, 97.06 and 03.02.

This online classification should be cited as:

JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed]. Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification

Information from the shallower section (up to sublittoral sediment, taken from Version 04.05) be cited as the report accompanying Version 04.05, as follows:

CONNOR, D.W., J.H. ALLEN, N.GOLDING, K.L.HOWELL, L.M. LIEBERKNECHT, K.O. NORTHEN AND J.B. REKER (2004) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 04.05. In: JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed].
Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification
ISBN 1 861 07561 8


Information from the deep-sea section (added in March 2015) should be cited as the report accompanying the deep-sea section, as follows:

PARRY, M.E.V., K.L. HOWELL, B.E. NARAYANASWAMY, B.J. BETT, D.O.B. JONES, D.J. HUGHES, N. PIECHAUD, T.D. NICKELL, H. ELLWOOD, N. ASKEW, C. JENKINS and E. MANCA (2015) A Deep-sea Section for the Marine Habitat Classification of Britain and Ireland. JNCC report 530. In: JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed].
Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification
ISSN 0963 8901