Description of [Laminaria hyperborea] park with dense foliose red seaweeds on exposed lower infralittoral rock
Very exposed to exposed lower infralittoral bedrock or large boulders characterised by a kelp park of Laminaria hyperborea with a dense turf of foliose red seaweeds and encrusting coralline algae. These red seaweeds dominate kelp stipes and bedrock in a similar abundance and composition to the upper infralittoral kelp forest, the most commonly occurring species being Callophyllis laciniata, Cryptopleura ramosa, Plocamium cartilagineum, Kallymenia reniformis, Delesseria sanguinea, Phycodrys rubens, Hypoglossum hypoglossoides, Heterosiphonia plumosa and Bonnemaisonia asparagoides. In addition, moderate to high abundance of foliose brown seaweeds, such as Dictyota dichotoma are more common than in the kelp forest above. More upper circalittoral fauna occur in the park than in the kelp forest, such as the cup-coral Caryophyllia smithii. Some species more often present in the kelp park than the forest include the anthozoan Alcyonium digitatum and the featherstar Antedon bifida. The urchin Echinus esculentus, the gastropods Gibbula cineraria and Calliostoma zizyphinum and the starfish Asterias rubens are normally present underneath the canopy along with the anthozoans Urticina felina and Corynactis viridis. The sponge Cliona celata is also present often found boring into shells or soft rock where available. The bryozoan Membranipora membranacea can be found on the L. hyperborea fronds along with the hydroid Obelia geniculata and the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri. The polychaete Pomatoceros sp. is present on the rock surface. Situation: This biotope usually occurs below the exposed kelp forests (units A3.113 and A3.1151). At some sites, a dense band of D. dichotoma may form a separate zone below (A3.116). Where seasonally unstable cobbles and/or boulders are present adjacent to and/or below the bedrock supporting the L. hyperborea unit A3.122 may occur. Temporal variation: In the late summer both the kelp and the foliose seaweeds can become heavily encrusted with the bryozoan crusts Electra pilosa and Membranipora membranacea. Temporal variation within the community structure is unknown.