[Alaria esculenta] and [Laminaria digitata] on exposed sublittoral fringe bedrock

Description of [Alaria esculenta] and [Laminaria digitata] on exposed sublittoral fringe bedrock


flag A3.1112
creatorIdentity remo
creationTime 2017-08-16T16:38:13.355
Last Maintainer Identity remo
modificationTime 2016-03-16T18:42:49
id 2980
imageSize 0 Bytes

Exposed sublittoral fringe bedrock characterised by a mixture of the kelps Laminaria digitata and Alaria esculenta with an understorey of red seaweeds including Palmaria palmata and Corallina officinalis with encrusting coralline algal on the rock surface. Anthozoans such as Halichondria panicea, the mussel Mytilus edulis and the barnacle Semibalanus balanoides can be found attached in cracks and crevices. The limpets Patella vulgata or on southern shores Patella ulyssiponensis can be found in their characteristic "scars" grazing the biofilm/algal crusts on the rock surface, while the limpet Helcion pellucidum is restricted to grazing the kelp fronds. Colonies of the bryozoan Electra pilosa can cover the red seaweeds Mastocarpus stellatus and Chondrus crispus or the rock surface. Situation: This unit represents an intermediate on the wave exposure gradient, with pure stands of A. esculenta (unit A3.1111) being found on more exposed shores and pure L. digitata (unit A3.1112) on more sheltered shores. This biotope usually occurs immediately above a sublittoral Laminaria hyperborea forest (units A3.115 or A3.214), although a narrow band of L. digitata (A3.1112) may occur between these two zones, particularly on less exposed shores. In southwest England a zone of mixed kelp forest L. hyperborea and Laminaria ochroleuca may occur below the A. esculenta (A3.1153). A number of different biotopes can occur above A3.1112; most commonly these are the mussel-barnacle zone (A1.111), Himanthalia elongata (A1.123), a red algal turf or a Fucus serratus-red algal mosaic (A1.2141) on the less exposed shores. This biotope also occurs on steep and vertical shores of moderately exposed coasts where a localised increase in wave action restricts the growth of L. digitata. As a result of this increased wave action the L. digitata plants are usually small and often show signs of damage. Temporal variation: There may be seasonal changes in the amount of ephemeral seaweeds due to disturbance caused by winter storms.