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CR.MCR.EcCr.UrtScr
Urticina felina and sand-tolerant fauna on sand-scoured or covered circalittoral rock

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Habitat (physical) description

Distribution

 Salinity: Full (30-35 ppt), Reduced (18-30ppt) 
 Wave exposure: Extremely exposed, Very exposed, Exposed, Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered 
 Tidal streams: Strong (3-6 kn), Moderately strong (1-3 kn) 
 Substratum: Bedrock, cobbles 
 Zone: Circalittoral 
 Depth Band: 0-5 m, 10-20 m, 20-30 m, 30-50 m 
 Other Features:  

Download comparative physical and biological data. The comparative tables enable a rapid comparison of the species composition and principal physical characteristics between a given set of biotopes.
Distribution of habitat CR.MCR.EcCr.UrtScr  Urticina felina and sand-tolerant fauna on sand-scoured or covered circalittoral rock
Distribution of habitat CR.MCR.EcCr.UrtScr Urticina felina and sand-tolerant fauna on sand-scoured or covered circalittoral rock, based on records on the UK Marine Recorder database and EUSeaMap. Red dots represent records on which the biotope is based. Blue dots show other certain records, black dots show records tentatively assigned to this biotope. Yellow areas show level 2 and 3 sublittoral and deep-sea habitats prediced by EUSeaMap within UK waters.

Biotope description

This biotope typically occurs on tide-swept circalittoral bedrock, rock adjacent to mobile sand/gravel in gullies, and cobbles on gravel and sand, characterised by scour-tolerant robust species. Although many of these species are found on subtidal rock, they tend to occur in larger numbers in these highly sand-influenced conditions. The dominant species by far is the anemone Urticina felina which commonly occurs on rocks at the sand-rock interface, where the scour levels are at a maximum and few species can tolerate this abrasion. The sponge Ciocalypta penicillus is also very characteristic of shifting sand-covered rock. This biotope is only occasionally recorded as a separate entity, because its extent is typically restricted to a very narrow band of rock at the sediment interface. Only occasionally does it cover a large extent of rock (e.g. where the wave action is strong enough to cause sand abrasion well up the rock face or where the rock is low-lying). More often, this scoured zone is recorded as part of whatever biotope occurs on the nearby hard substrata. Other species (which are able to survive, and benefit from the reduced competition) include Balanus crenatus, Pomatoceros triqueter, Cellepora pumicosa, Alcyonidium diaphanum, Cliona celata, encrusting red algae and Asterias rubens.

Situation

This biotope tends to be found in close proximity to mobile sand or gravel, producing scour that tends to limit the number of species found.

Temporal variation

Not known.

Similar biotopes

Not applicable or unknown.

Characterising Species

Taxa Frequency Typical Abundance % Contribution to similarity
Cliona celata R 1
Ciocalypta penicillus C 1
Urticina felina C 51
Pomatoceros triqueter C 4
Balanus crenatus A 29
Alcyonidium diaphanum P 1
Cellepora pumicosa P 4
Asterias rubens R 4
Corallinaceae F 1

Example photographs of biotope


Urticina felina and sand-tolerant fauna on sand-scoured or covered circalittoral rock, Carreg-trai, Ramsey, Rohan Holt, © JNCC Ciocalypta penicillius on rock surrounded by sediment, Outer Aberdaran Bay, Keith Hiscock, © JNCC
Click on an image for a larger view


Version 15.03 of the classification adds a deep-sea section to version 04.05; therefore superseding version 04.05, 97.06 and 03.02.

This online classification should be cited as:

JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed]. Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification

Information from the shallower section (up to sublittoral sediment, taken from Version 04.05) be cited as the report accompanying Version 04.05, as follows:

CONNOR, D.W., J.H. ALLEN, N.GOLDING, K.L.HOWELL, L.M. LIEBERKNECHT, K.O. NORTHEN AND J.B. REKER (2004) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 04.05. In: JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed].
Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification
ISBN 1 861 07561 8


Information from the deep-sea section (added in March 2015) should be cited as the report accompanying the deep-sea section, as follows:

PARRY, M.E.V., K.L. HOWELL, B.E. NARAYANASWAMY, B.J. BETT, D.O.B. JONES, D.J. HUGHES, N. PIECHAUD, T.D. NICKELL, H. ELLWOOD, N. ASKEW, C. JENKINS and E. MANCA (2015) A Deep-sea Section for the Marine Habitat Classification of Britain and Ireland. JNCC report 530. In: JNCC (2015) The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland Version 15.03 [Online]. [Date accessed].
Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/MarineHabitatClassification
ISSN 0963 8901