Subtidal brittlestar beds
Compiled by: Leigh Jones, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Monkstone House, City
Road, Peterborough PE1 IJY, UK.
Derived, in part, from: the UK marine biotope classification (Connor et al.
1997b) and a review undertaken for the UK Marine SACs Project (Hughes, D.J. 1998).
|Europe (EUNIS Nov. 1999)
||Brittlestar beds on circalittoral rock or mixed substrata
|Britain/Ireland (MNCR BioMar 97.06)
||Faciès à Ophiothrix fragilis
Circalittoral rock or mixed substrata dominated by dense beds of brittlestars. Ophiothrix
fragilis or Ophiocomina nigra may dominate separately or there may be mixed
populations of the two species. More rarely Ophiopholis aculeata may form dense
aggregations (MCR.Oph.Oacu). The brittlestars tend to have a smothering effect on the
rock, significantly reducing species diversity and biomass when they are very dense. The
brittlestars are mobile and so some areas may appear highly grazed (MCR.GzFa) if they
previously had brittlestar populations on them.
(from MNCR database in February 1999)
Species composition and biodiversity
Sensitivity to human activities
Conservation and protection status