Coralline crust-dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools

Description of Coralline crust-dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools


flag A1.411
creatorIdentity remo
creationTime 2017-08-16T16:38:12.958
Last Maintainer Identity remo
modificationTime 2016-03-16T18:42:49
id 2711
imageSize 0 Bytes

Shallow and smaller rockpools throughout the eulittoral zone in a wide range of wave exposures characterised by a covering of encrusting coralline algae on which Corallina officinalis often forms a dense turf. The bottom of these pools can be covered in coarse gravel and cobbles. These 'coralline' pools have a striking appearance as they are dominated by red seaweeds. Foliose red seaweeds found in these pools include Mastocarpus stellatus, Chondrus crispus and the filamentous Ceramium nodulosum. The ephemeral green seaweeds Cladophora rupestris, Ulva lactuca and Enteromorpha spp. can also occur in high abundance. The pools may hold large numbers of grazing molluscs, particularly the winkle Littorina littorea (which often occur in exceptionally high densities in upper shore pools) and the limpet Patella vulgata. Gastropods may graze these pools to such an extent that they is devoid of any foliose red seaweeds, and the flora are reduced to encrusting coralline algae and large numbers of gastropods. Large brown seaweeds are generally absent. Within the pools, pits and crevices are often occupied by the anemone Actinia equina and small individuals of the mussel Mytilus edulis. The whelk Nucella lapillus can be found on the rock surface preying on the barnacles and mussels. A number of variants have been identified. Pools dominated by coralline algae and foliose red seaweeds with a distribution throughout the UK (see unit A1.4111). In Ireland, the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus can dominate these shallow coralline pools (see A1.4112). In south-west Britain, the brown seaweed Bifurcaria bifurcata (A1.4113) or Cystoseira spp. (A1.4114) can be regionally dominant. Situation: Rockpools throughout the eulittoral and lower littoral fringe on rocky shores.