Description of [Fucus serratus] with sponges, ascidians and red seaweeds on tide-swept lower eulittoral mixed substrata
Sheltered lower shore boulders, cobbles and pebbles on muddy sediments that are subject to enhanced tidal water movement and characterised by a species rich community. Dominant species include the sponges Halichondria panicea and Hymeniacidon perleve, the sea squirts Ascidiella aspera, Ascidiella scabra, Styela clava and Botryllus schlosseri. A number of filamentous red seaweeds including Halurus flosculosus, Ceramium spp., Gracilaria gracilis, Polysiphonia fucoides and foliose seaweeds Mastocarpus stellatus and Chondrus crispus are usually present. The brown seaweed Dictyota dichotoma and the wrack Fucus serratus with colonies of the hydroid Dynamena pumila, and Ectocarpus sp. may be found on more stable substrata. Boulders and large cobbles provide substrata for the top shell Gibbula cineraria, the whelk Nucella lapillus and barnacles such as Semibalanus balanoides, Balanus crenatus, or in areas with variable salinity Elminius modestus, and the tube-forming polychaete Pomatoceros triqueter. Patches of sand or mud are often characterised by the polychaete Lanice conchilega and the polychaete Sabella pavonina. Aggregations of the mussel Mytilus edulis and, in southern and eastern England the limpet Crepidula fornicata, may be found attached to cobbles and pebbles. Sites in Scottish sea lochs may support maerl Lithothamnion spp. and bivalves Venerupis senegalensis (see also A5.433). Situation: This biotope is found above a community dominated by kelp such as Laminaria digitata (A3.1112) or seagrass beds dominated by Zostera marina (A5.5331) depending on the substrata found below. It is found below biotopes dominated by wrack Fucus vesiculosus (A1.313) or M. edulis beds (A2.212).