Monday, 15 December 2014

Rockpooling destination: Shetland September 2014

The shore comprises a small sheltered bay of cobbles and pebbles into which a river flows. A quay provides a further anthropogenic hard substrate.

Habitat classification:

Substrate
LR (Littoral rock)
Habitat
LLR (Low energy littoral rock)
LR.FLR (Features of ilttoral rock)
Biotope complex
LR.LLR.F (Fucoids on sheltered marine shores)
LR.FLR.Eph (Ephemeral green or red seaweed communities
Biotope

LR.FLR.Eph (Ephermeral green or red seaweeds (Fresh water or sand influenced)

Below are images of organisms that you may encounter whilst rockpooling in these habitats:


The rocky shore is comprised of cobbles and pebbles. The swathe of green marks where ephermeral green seaweeds grow under the influences of the fresh water influx from the river. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Eph (Ephermeral green or red seaweeds (Fresh water or sand influenced).
Ephermeral green seaweed - 'Gut weed' (Ulva sp formally Entomorpha sp ) grows prolifically on the shore where there is fresh water influence.


Barnacles grow on the quay side.


Barnacles and  Gut weed (grow on the quay side.


Pebbles and shell fragments make up the substrate in the middle of the bay.



Beyond the bay are fish farms that are marked by bouys that become covered in mussels, which is turn are scraped off and end up as part of the substrate of the bay.



Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Rockpooling destination: NW Shetland, September 2014

The exposed rocky shore consists of a steeply sloping cobble cove surrounded by cliffs and caves.
The cobbles support little wildlife, that which does occur is concentrated within the strand line.
The stable cliffs support a community typical of high energy environments with barnacles, limpets, periwinkles, dog whelks and anemones.

Habitat classification:


Biotope complex
LR.HLR. MusB (Mussel and/or barnacle communities)
LR.FLR.Lic.(Lichens on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock).
LS.LSa (Littoral sand)
Biotope

LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria Maura on littoral fringe rock)
LR.FLR.Lic.YG (Yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock)
LS.LSa.St (Strandline)


The rocky shore is made up of  an exposed cobble beach and surrounding cliffs. Habitat classification: LR.HR (High energy littoral rock)


Waves on this exposed shore have created the steep inclination of the cobbles and created a succession of strandlines that mark a succession of high tide marks. Habitat classification: LR.HL (High energy littoral rock) and LS. St (Strandline).


The power of the waves can also be seen on the cliff bases which have become smooth and 'cut into'  by the waves throwing cobbles and boulders at their base. Due to this continual process many organisms live within the refuge of crevices. 
Several communities occur on the cliffs. At the top of the cliff  is a community of yellow and grey lichens, below which is the black tar lichen (Verrucaria mauraand then a community dominated by barnacles. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Lic.YG (Yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock), LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria Maura on littoral fringe rock) and  LR.HLR. MusB (Mussel and/or barnacle communities).



Yellow and grey lichens cover the splash zone of the cliff, below the black rock marks the community charecterised by V. maura and is where the rough periwinkle (Littorina saxatilis agg) and small periwinkles (Melarhaphe neritoidesbegin to occur, further down where the black gives way to brown marks the transition to the barnacles dominated community which supports the periwinkles and limpets.

Small periwinkles (M. neritoides)
within the V. maura community.
Rough periwinkle (L. saxatilis agg) and small periwinkle (M. neritoides)


Rough periwinkles (L. saxatilis agg.) seek refuge within a crevice.
Barnacles and rough periwinkles (L. saxatilis agg.) with in the barnacle community.



Barnacles


Common limpets (Patella vulgata) and barnacles


Dog whelks (Nucella lapillusand barnacles with patches of V maura

Dog whelks (N. lapillusand barnacles



Beadlet anemones (Actina equina) and barnacles.




The strandline is made up of old seaweed, drift wood, plastic bouys and birch bark from the North.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Rockpooling destination: Walls, Shetland September 2014

The low cliffs around Walls incline steeply toward the sea and are covered by lichens, in this sheltered inlet a distinct transition has formed between the yellow and grey lichens of the supralittoral and the tar lichen of the littoral fringe. Below the lichens are bands of barnacles and then fucoids.


Habitat classification:
Biotope complex
LR.MLR.BF (Barnacles and fucoids on moderately exposed shores)
LR.FLR.Lic.(Lichens on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock).
Biotope
LR.MLR.BF.FspiB (Fucus spiralis on full salinity exposed to moderately exposed upper eulittoral rock)
LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock)
LR.FLR.Lic.YG (Yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock)


The low cliffs slope steeply and are characterized by lichens. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Lic.(Lichens on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock).


Yellow and grey lichens occur with sea pinks in the supra littoral zone, below which tar lichen forms a black covering over the rocks. Habitat classification LR.FLR.Lic.YG (Yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock) and  LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock).
Sea ivory (Verrucaria maura), grey, orange and brown lichens are commonly encountered within the habitat yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock.



Yellow and grey lichens occur in the supra littoral zone, below which tar lichen forms a black covering over the rocks in the littoral fringe with barnacles and fucoids below . Habitat classification LR.FLR.Lic.YG (Yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock),  LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock) and LR.MLR.BF (Barnacles and fucoids on moderately exposed shores).



Friday, 28 November 2014

Rockpooling destination: Walls, Shetland September 2014

The shore comprised of outcrops of bedrock, boulders, cobbles and pebbles slopes gently to the low water mark and is positioned within a sheltered inlet on the North Western extend of Shetland main land.

Lichens cover the supralittoral rock and extend onto larger boulders and bed rock of the upper shore. The remaining boulders, cobbles and pebbles of the shore are covered by sparse barnacles, periwinkles and further down the shore a blanket of fucoids.


Habitat classification:

Substrate
LR (Littoral rock)
Habitat
LLR (Low energy littoral rock)
FLR (Features of littoral rock)
Biotope complex
LR.LLR.F (Fucoids on sheltered marine shores)
LR.FLR.Lic (Lichens on supralittoral rock)
Biotope
LR.LLR.F.Asc (Ascophyllum nodosum on sheltered mid eulittoral rock).
LR.LLR.F.Pel (Pelvetia canaliculata on sheletered littoral fringe rock)
 (Fucus spiralis on moderately exposed to very sheltered upper eulittoral rock)
LR.FLR.Lic.YG (Yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock)
LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock)

Below are images of organisms you may encounter whilst rock pooling in these habitats:


The rocky shore is comprised of outcrops of bedrock, boulders, cobbles and pebbles. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Lic (Lichens on supralittoral rock) and LR.LLR.F (Fucoids on sheltered marine shores).
The out crops of bed rock, boulders and cobbles of the upper shore are covered in lichens, whilst a succession of different fucoids form a blanket across the shore. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Lic (Lichens on supralittoral rock) and LR.LLR.F (Fucoids on sheltered marine shores).
A bivalve washed up on the shore....


Provides a refuge for a number of terrestrial species. 

Birch washed up from the sea provided an important source of kinderling to the previous inhabitants of Shetland.
On the upper and mid shore barnacles and periwinkles (Littorina sp) cover the cobbles and pebbles. 
Barnacles and periwinkles (Littorina sp) on cobbles of the shore.


Barnacles and periwinkles (Littorina sp) on cobbles of the shore.

Fucus spiralis. Habitat classification:  (Fucus spiralis on moderately exposed to very sheltered upper eulittoral rock)


Ascophyllum nodosum on the lower shore. Habitat classification: LR.LLR.F.Asc (Ascophyllum nodosum on sheltered mid eulittoral rock).

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Rockpooling destination: Unst, Shetland September 2014


The rocky shore comprises steeply shelving bedrock with crevices and small rock pools.
Tar lichen occurs in the littoral fringe and extends as patches into the upper shore (supralittoral). The upper and mid shore are charecterised by barnacles, periwinkles and limpets with the addition of mussels and dog whelks in the mid shore; ephemeral red and green seaweeds occur across the mid and lower shore. The abundance of barnacles and clumps of large mussels in the mid shore and presence of rock pools is characteristic of the habitats LR.MLR.BF (barnacles and fucoids on moderately exposed shores) and LR.FLR.Rkp (rock pools).

Habitat classification:


Biotope complex LR.MLR.BF (Barnacles and fucoids on moderately exposed shores) LR.FLR.Rkp (Rockpools)
Biotope   LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor (Corallina officinalis, coralline crusts and brown seaweeds in shallow eulittoral rockpools)

Below are images of the organisms you may encounter within this habitat:



The rocky shore comprises steeply sloping bed rock with crevices and small coralline rock pools.  The upper shore is charecterised by barnacles and periwinkles, the mid shore by barnacles, periwinkles, limpets, mussels, dog whelks and red seaweeds, whilst the lower shore is charecterised by ephemeral green and red seaweeds.

Barnacles and small periwinkles ( Melarhaphe neritoides) of the upper shore.

Barnacles density increases as you go down the shore.
Barnacles, mussels (Mytilus edulis) and small periwinkles ( Melarhaphe neritoides) of the mid shore. 
Dog whelks (Nucella lapillus), barnacles and M. edulis on the mid shore.


Old N. lapillus egg capsules.

M. edulis overgrown by red seaweeds.

M. edulis covered by Porphyra sp

Ephemeral greens (Ulva sp) and red (Porphyra sp) seaweeds on the lower shore.

Ephemeral greens (Ulva sp) and red (Porphyra sp) seaweeds on the lower shore.


Ephemeral greens (Ulva sp) and red (Porphyra sp) seaweeds on the lower shore.


Mastocarpus stellatus on lower shore.










Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Unst, Shetland September 2014



The rocky shore comprises steep shelving bedrock with crevices, some of which support small rock pools.  

Tar lichen occurs throughout the littoral fringe and down into the upper shore where channel wrack and barnacles grow on top. Below the tar lichen, spiral wrack, limpets, barnacles  and winkles occur.

Habitat table:

Substrate
LR (Littoral rock)
Habitat
LR.MLR (Moderate energy littoral rock)
LR.FLR (Features of ilttoral rock)
Biotope complex
LR.MLR.BF (Barnacles and fucoids on moderately exposed shores)
LR.FLR.Lic.(Lichens on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock).
Biotope
LR.LMR.BF  (Pelvetia canaliculata and barnacles on moderately exposed shores)
LR.MLR.BF.FspiB (Fucus spiralis on full salinity exposed to moderately exposed upper eulittoral rock)
LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria Maura on littoral fringe rock)



Below are images of organisms you may encounter whilst rock pooling in these habitats:

The rocky shore is comprised of steeply shelving bed rock with crevices. Black Tar lichen occurs in the littoral fringe and upper shore, with channel wrack and then spiral wrack below . Barnacles, limpets and winkles  occur from the upper to lower shore at varying densities. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock)LR.LMR.BF  (Pelvetia canaliculata and barnacles on moderately exposed shores)  and LR.MLR.BF.FspiB (Fucus spiralis on full salinity exposed to moderately exposed upper eulittoral rock).

Below the  band of channel wrack, barnacles, small periwinkles (Melarhaphe neritoides) and edible periwinkle (Littorina littorea) among patches of tar lichen (Verrucaria maura).  Habitat classification LR.LMR.BF  (Pelvetia canaliculata and barnacles on moderately exposed shores).


Barnacles among tar V. maura 




Sunday, 16 November 2014

Terrestrial predators in the intertidal zone


The intertidal zone is not isolated from the terrestrial environment. In particular there are a number of predators and grazers that feed in the intertidal and shallow marine environment. 

Below are images of such examples:





  On the tops of the low cliffs that flank rocky shores in Shetland, an assortment of marine organisms’ remains scatter the ground. These are the remains of terrestrial predation of the intertidal zone.



Sanderlings feed amongst the strand line



Shetland ponies come down on to the shore to graze on the washed up seaweed.