Annex I Reefs
Annex I reefs occur where rocky areas or concretions made by
marine animals arise from the surrounding seafloor. There are three
main types of Annex I reef:
- Bedrock reef;
- Stony reef;
- Biogenic reef.
Bedrock and stony reefs are both types of rocky reef. These
occur where the bedrock or stable boulders and cobbles arise from
the surrounding seabed creating a habitat that is colonised by many
different marine animals and plants. Rocky reefs can be very
variable in terms of both their structure and the communities that
they support. They provide a home to many species such as corals,
sponges and sea squirts as well as giving shelter to fish and
crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs.
Biogenic reefs are those that are created by the animals
themselves. In the UK these include coral reefs, made by cold-water
corals such as Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora
oculata. Biogenic reefs can also be made by reef-building
worms such as the honeycomb worm Sabellaria alveolata, the
ross worm Sabellaria spinulosa and the serpulid worm
Serpula vermicularis. Mussels such as the edible mussel
Mytilus edulis and the horse mussel Modiolus
modiolus can also create biogenic reef structures. In UK
offshore waters the main types of biogenic reef that JNCC are
looking to identify additional SACs for are cold-water coral reefs,
Sabellaria spinulosa reefs and Modiolus modiolus
reefs. Examples of what the different types of Annex I reefs can
look like can be seen in the gallery below.
SACs are being selected in UK waters for reef habitats to ensure
that we have included the full range of different reef types in the
SAC network - from bedrock and stony reef through to the different
types of biogenic reef. Reefs occur throughout UK waters, from the
English Channel to far off north-west Scotland, and the animals and
plants the reefs support vary in these different areas
mainly as a result of differences in temperatures. SACs are
also being selected to ensure that reef habitats are protected
throughout the full geographical range in which they occur. More
information is available on how we are recommending where SACs should be located.
JNCC maintain a map that shows areas of potential Annex I
reef in UK offshore waters. These are areas where JNCC believe,
from the best available evidence, that Annex I reef might be
present. Through offshore survey, JNCC is working to confirm the
presence of Annex I reef in these areas and to identify those sites
which merit selection as SACs. For information on the
identification of Annex I reef SACs within 12 nautical miles of the
coast, please contact the relevant country conservation agency.
Sabellaria spinulosa reefs:
- In May 2007 JNCC held a workshop on "Defining and managing
Sabellaria spinulosa reefs". The report produced following
the workshop is available on the JNCC website. JNCC Report 405.
- In March 2008 JNCC held a workshop on "The identification of
the main characteristics of stony reef" to better define a stony
reef. The report produced following the workshop is available on
the JNCC website. JNCC Report 432.