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Marine Habitat Classification Hierarchy

Expand hierarchy to: Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
  Marine (Level 1)
  Littoral rock (and other hard substrata)
  High energy littoral rock
  Moderate energy littoral rock
  Low energy littoral rock
  Features of littoral rock
  Littoral sediment
  Littoral coarse sediment
  Littoral sand
  Littoral mud
  Littoral mixed sediment
  Littoral macrophyte-dominated sediment
  Littoral biogenic reefs
  Infralittoral rock (and other hard substrata)
  High energy infralittoral rock
  Moderate energy infralittoral rock
  Low energy infralittoral rock
  Features of infralittoral rock
  Circalittoral rock (and other hard substrata)
  High energy circalittoral rock
  Moderate energy circalittoral rock
  Low energy circalittoral rock
  Features of circalittoral rock
  Sublittoral sediment
  Sublittoral coarse sediment (unstable cobbles and pebbles, gravels and coarse sands)
  Sublittoral sands and muddy sands
  Sublittoral cohesive mud and sandy mud communities
  Sublittoral mixed sediment
  Sublittoral macrophyte-dominated communities on sediments
  Sublittoral biogenic reefs on sediment
  Atlantic upper bathyal
  Atlantic upper bathyal rock and other hard substrata
  Atlantic upper bathyal coarse sediment
  Atlantic upper bathyal sand
  Atlantic upper bathyal mud
  Atlantic upper bathyal mixed sediment
  Atlantic upper bathyal biogenic structure
  Atlantic mid bathyal
  Atlantic mid bathyal rock and other hard substrata
  Atlantic mid bathyal coarse sediment
  Atlantic mid bathyal sand
  Atlantic mid bathyal mud
  Atlantic mid bathyal mixed sediment
  Atlantic mid bathyal biogenic structure
  Atlantic lower bathyal
  Atlantic lower bathyal rock and other hard substrata
  Atlantic lower bathyal coarse sediment
  Atlantic lower bathyal sand
  Atlantic lower bathyal mud
  Atlantic lower bathyal mixed sediment
  Atlantic lower bathyal biogenic structure
  Atlantic upper abyssal
  Atlantic upper abyssal rock and other hard substrata
  Atlantic upper abyssal coarse sediment
  Atlantic upper abyssal sand
  Atlantic upper abyssal mud
  Atlantic upper abyssal mixed sediment
  Atlantic upper abyssal biogenic structure
  Atlantic mid abyssal
  Atlantic mid abyssal rock and other hard substrata
  Atlantic mid abyssal coarse sediment
  Atlantic mid abyssal sand
  Atlantic mid abyssal mud
  Atlantic mid abyssal mixed sediment
  Atlantic mid abyssal biogenic structure
  Atlantic lower abyssal
  Atlantic lower abyssal rock and other hard substrata
  Atlantic lower abyssal coarse sediment
  Atlantic lower abyssal sand
  Atlantic lower abyssal mud
  Atlantic lower abyssal mixed sediment
  Atlantic lower abyssal biogenic structure
  Arctic mid bathyal
  Arctic mid bathyal rock and other hard substrata
  Arctic mid bathyal coarse sediment
  Arctic mid bathyal sand
  Arctic mid bathyal mud
  Arctic mid bathyal mixed sediment
  Arctic mid bathyal biogenic structure
  Arctic lower bathyal
  Arctic lower bathyal rock and other hard substrata
  Arctic lower bathyal coarse sediment
  Arctic lower bathyal sand
  Arctic lower bathyal mud
  Arctic lower bathyal mixed sediment
  Arctic lower bathyal biogenic structure
  Arctic upper abyssal
  Arctic upper abyssal rock and other hard substrata
  Arctic upper abyssal coarse sediment
  Arctic upper abyssal sand
  Arctic upper abyssal mud
  Arctic upper abyssal mixed sediment
  Arctic upper abyssal biogenic structure
  Atlanto-Arctic upper bathyal
  Atlanto-Arctic upper bathyal rock and other hard substrata
  Atlanto-Arctic upper bathyal coarse sediment
  Atlanto-Arctic upper bathyal sand
  Atlanto-Arctic upper bathyal mud
  Atlanto-Arctic upper bathyal mixed sediment
  Atlanto-Arctic upper bathyal biogenic structure

Click on +/- to expand and contract the hierarchy.  Click on a name to view habitat details.



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