Common faunal species with different depth distribution patterns within kelp forests in Northern Ireland

Restricted to shallow water (<10m) and there common Halichondria panicea*, Amphilectis fucorum
Moderately common throughout. Cancer pagurus, Gibbula cineraria, Alcyonidium diaphanum, Membranipora membranacea, Henricia oculata, Aplidium punctum*, Dendrodoa grossularia*, Botryllus schlosseri
Present throughout but commoner with increasing depth Electra pilosa, Caryophyllia smithii*
Ubiquitous and very often abundant Obelia geniculata, Calliostoma zizyphinum, Asterias rubens, Echinus esculentus
Present in deeper parts (10-20m) where they may be very common, infrequent shallower Dysidea fragilis, Alcyonium digitatum, Leptasterias mulleri
Present where kelp forest extends to 20-30m Tethya aurantium, Polymastia boletiforme, Axinella infundibuliformis, Stelligera stuposa, Lophon ingalli, Halecium halecinum, Sertularella gayi, Abietinaria abietina, Aglaophenia tubulifera, Caberea ellisii, Bugula flabellata, Bugula plumosa, Corella parallelograma, Ascidia mentula, Polycarpa pomaria

* These species were not found in kelp forest located in regions of decreased wave exposure and more turbid water.

Data from Northern Ireland survey, Erwin et al. 1986; 1990.

References