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CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSp
Caryophyllia smithii, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Extremely exposed, Very exposed, Exposed, Moderately exposed 
 Tidal streams: Moderately strong (1-3 kn), Weak (>1 kn), Very weak (negligible) 
 Substratum: Bedrock, boulders 
 Zone: Circalittoral 
 Depth Band: 10-20 m, 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.MCR.EcCr.CarSp  Caryophyllia smithii, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral rock
Distribution of habitat CR.MCR.EcCr.CarSp Caryophyllia smithii, sponges and crustose communities on wave-exposed circalittoral 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

This biotope typically occurs on the upper and vertical faces of wave-exposed, moderately strong to weakly tide-swept, circalittoral bedrock or boulders, with a water depth range of 20-30m. This often silty biotope has a typically sparse fauna, appearing grazed, and is characterised by common cup corals Caryophyllia smithii, frequent Alcyonium digitatum and occasional urchins Echinus esculentus. There may be occasional large growths of the sponge Cliona celata, Haliclona viscosa, Pachymatisma johnstonia and the axinellid sponge Stelligera stuposa. Echinoderms form a prominent feature of the fauna within this biotope, with species such as Marthasterias glacialis, Asterias rubens, Luidia ciliaris, Henricia oculata, Holothuria forskali, Antedon bifida and Aslia lefevrei present. Bryozoan crusts such as Parasmittina trispinosa and encrusting red algae cover the rock/boulder surface. The bryozoan Porella compressa may also be recorded occasionally. Isolated clumps of hydroids feature species such as Nemertesia antennina, Nemertesia ramosa, Abietinaria abietina, Halecium halecinum and Sertularella gayi. Other species observed include the anemone Corynactis viridis, Urticina felina, Sagartia elegans, Calliostoma zizyphinum, Balanus crenatus and Pomatoceros triqueter. Two variants within this biotope have been distinguished: CarSp.PenPcom and CarSp.Bri. While CarSp.PenPcom tends to have the bryozoans Pentapora foliacea and P. compressa, while CarSp.Bri features a dynamic community of brittlestars covering the seabed in a dense mat. Ophiothrix fragilis is usually the dominant species in shallow water but tends to be replaced by Ophiocomina nigra in deeper water.

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
Pachymatisma johnstonia O 1
Stelligera stuposa O 1
Cliona celata F 6
Haliclona viscosa O 3
Halecium halecinum O 1
Abietinaria abietina F 2
Sertularella gayi O 1
Nemertesia antennina O 3
Nemertesia ramosa O 2
Alcyonium digitatum F 6
Urticina felina O 2
Sagartia elegans O 1
Corynactis viridis F 4
Caryophyllia smithii F 9
Pomatoceros triqueter O 1
Balanus crenatus F 1
Calliostoma zizyphinum O 3
Porella compressa O 1
Parasmittina trispinosa F 4
Antedon bifida F 2
Luidia ciliaris O 3
Henricia oculata O 3
Asterias rubens O 4
Marthasterias glacialis O 4
Echinus esculentus O 6
Holothuria forskali O 2
Aslia lefevrei O 2
Corallinaceae F 2

Example photographs of biotope


Porella compressa, Dubh Sgeir, entrance to loch, Loch Tamanavay, Lewis., Sue Hiscock, © 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