Description of [Laminaria saccharina] with [Phyllophora] spp. and filamentous green seaweeds on variable or reduced salinity infralittoral rock
Shallow infralittoral bedrock or boulder slopes, in reduced or low salinity conditions, characterised by the kelp Laminaria saccharina with dense stands of silted filamentous green seaweeds and red seaweeds Phyllophora crispa, Phyllophora pseudoceranoides and Phycodrys rubens. The filamentous green seaweeds e.g. Chaetomorpha melagonium and Cladophora spp. can form a blanket cover amongst the L. saccharina in the upper zone, which is under greater influence of freshwater input. In deeper water the green seaweeds are replaced by red seaweed Phyllophora spp. or Polysiphonia fucoides which may form a distinct sub-zone in the biotope. Coralline crust can be present. The solitary ascidians Corella parallelogramma and Ascidiella scabra are often epiphytic on the seaweed (particularly Phyllophora spp.) and dominate the animal community along with the starfish Asterias rubens. The small ascidian Dendrodoa grossularia, the barnacle Balanus crenatus and the tube-building polychaete Pomatoceros triqueter occur on the rock surface. More mobile species include the crab Carcinus maenas, the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus and the whelk Buccinum undatum. Bryozoans Electra pilosa and Spirorbis sp. may cover kelp fronds. The red seaweed Odonthalia dentata may be present in the north. Situation: The ascidians found in this unit may continue onto the circalittoral rock below where dense colonies of anthozoans and brachiopods can also be found (A4.3142). Where tidal streams are increased, sponge and hydroid communities may occur below (A4.252).