Description of [Laminaria saccharina] and [Gracilaria gracilis] with sponges and ascidians on variable salinity infralittoral sediment
Shallow kelp community found on stony sediment, in extremely sheltered, variable salinity conditions, with moderately strong tidal currents. The community is characterised by a more sparse covering of Laminaria saccharina, particularly when compared to the fully marine version of this sub biotope (A5.524). Beneath the canopy the community is characterised by the red algae Gracilaria gracilis, and a variety of faunal species in particular sponges (Suberites ficus and Halichondria panacea) and ascidians (Ascidiella aspersa and Dendrodoa grossularia). The stony substrate provides a surface for attachment for these and many other filter and suspension feeding species, particularly barnacles (Balanus crenatus), hydroids (Urticina feline and Hydractinia echinata) and anemones. Other members of the understory may include a variety of filamentous and foliose red algae in particular Pterothamnion plumula, and the green alga Ulva.