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CR.HCR.DpSp
Deep sponge communities (circalittoral)

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Extremely exposed, Very exposed, Exposed 
 Tidal streams: Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible) 
 Substratum: Bedrock 
 Zone: Circalittoral - lower, Circalittoral - upper 
 Depth Band: 20-30 m, 30-50 m 
 Other Features:  

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.
Distribution of habitat CR.HCR.DpSp  Deep sponge communities (circalittoral)
Distribution of habitat CR.HCR.DpSp Deep sponge communities (circalittoral), 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

This biotope complex typically occurs on deep (commonly below 30m depth), wave-exposed circalittoral rock subject to negligible tidal streams. The sponge component of this biotope is the most striking feature, with similar species to the bryozoan and erect sponge biotope complex (BrErSp) although in this case, the sponges Phakellia ventilabrum, Axinella infundibuliformis, Axinella dissimilis and Stelligera stuposa dominate. Other sponge species frequently found on exposed rocky coasts are also present in low to moderate abundance. These include Cliona celata, Polymastia boletiformis, Haliclona viscosa, Pachymatisma johnstonia, Dysidea fragilis, Suberites carnosus, Stelligera rigida, Hemimycale columella and Tethya aurantium. The cup coral Caryophyllia smithii and the anemone Corynactis virdis may be locally abundant in some areas, along with the holothurian Holothuria forskali. The soft corals Alcyonium digitatum and Alcyonium glomeratum are frequently observed. The bryozoans Pentapora foliacea and Porella compressa are also more frequently found in this deep-water biotope complex. Bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa are also occasionally recorded. Isolated clumps of large hydroids such as Nemertesia antennina, Nemertesia ramosa and Sertularella gayi may be seen on the tops of boulders and rocky outcrops. Large echinoderms such as Echinus esculentus, Luidia ciliaris, Marthasterias glacialis, Strichastrella rosea, Henricia oculata and Aslia lefevrei may also be present. The sea fan Eunicella verucosa may be locally common but to a lesser extent than in ByErSp.Eun. The top shell Calliostoma zizyphinum is often recorded as present.

Situation

No situation data available.

Temporal variation

Not Known

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity
Pachymatisma johnstonia O 3
Tethya aurantium O 1
Polymastia boletiformis F 3
Suberites carnosus O 2
Stelligera rigida O 2
Stelligera stuposa F 3
Cliona celata F 4
Axinella dissimilis O 2
Axinella infundibuliformis F 4
Phakellia ventilabrum F 2
Hemimycale columella O 1
Haliclona viscosa F 3
Dysidea fragilis O 3
Sertularella gayi O 2
Nemertesia antennina O 2
Nemertesia ramosa O 1
Alcyonium digitatum F 3
Alcyonium glomeratum F 2
Eunicella verrucosa O 1
Corynactis viridis F 2
Caryophyllia smithii F 6
Calliostoma zizyphinum O 3
Porella compressa F 4
Pentapora foliacea F 2
Parasmittina trispinosa F 2
Luidia ciliaris O 2
Henricia oculata O 3
Stichastrella rosea O 1
Marthasterias glacialis O 2
Echinus esculentus O 3
Holothuria forskali F 4
Aslia lefevrei O 1

Example photographs of biotope

No characteristic photos currently available. If you are able to provide a photograph of this biotope please contact .


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