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IR.MIR.KT
Kelp and seaweed communities in tide-swept sheltered conditions

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered 
 Tidal streams: Strong (3-6 kn), Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn) 
 Substratum: Bedrock, boulders and cobbles 
 Zone: Infralittoral, Sublittoral fringe 
 Depth Band: 0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 m, Lower shore 
 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 IR.MIR.KT  Kelp and seaweed communities in tide-swept sheltered conditions
Distribution of habitat IR.MIR.KT Kelp and seaweed communities in tide-swept sheltered conditions, 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

Sheltered infralittoral rock exposed to strong tidal streams. In the sublittoral fringe dense Laminaria digitata is found together with erect seaweeds, sponges, ascidians and bryozoans (LdigT). Below this, on bedrock and stable boulders a canopy of mixed kelp (primarily Laminaria hyperborea and Laminaria saccharina) occurs with foliose red seaweeds, sponges and ascidians (XKT). This biotope is typically found in the sheltered narrows and sills of Scottish sealochs. Mixed substrata of boulders, cobbles, pebbles and gravel, that also occurs in the tidal rapids of Scottish sealochs, supports a reduced kelp canopy (L. hyperborea and L. saccharina; typically Frequent), with a rich red seaweed component and maerl at some sites (XKTX). In south-west Britain, sheltered, tide-swept rock is restricted to estuarine conditions where variable salinity and increased turbidity of the water have a significant effect on the biota, limiting the infralittoral zone to very shallow depths. Unlike the tide-swept channels in sealochs, the rock in these estuaries is characterised by a relatively low abundance of L. saccharina (< Common) with foliose red seaweeds, sponges and ascidians (LsacT). L. hyperborea is rarely present.

Situation

No situation data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal variation data available.

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity
Halichondria panicea F 6
Anemonia viridis O 1
Urticina felina O 1
Pomatoceros triqueter F 4
Balanus crenatus F 2
Carcinus maenas O 4
Gibbula cineraria O 2
Asterias rubens O 3
Ophiothrix fragilis O 1
Echinus esculentus O 2
Clavelina lepadiformis O 1
Botryllus schlosseri O 2
Corallinaceae F 4
Corallina officinalis O 1
Lithothamnion glaciale F 1
Chondrus crispus O 2
Hypoglossum hypoglossoides F 1
Dictyota dichotoma O 2
Laminaria digitata C 2
Laminaria hyperborea C 4
Laminaria saccharina F 7
Halidrys siliquosa O 2
Ulva lactuca O 3

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