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.


Friday, 7 November 2014

Rockpooling destination: Unst, Shetland, September 2014

The rocky shore comprises shelving bedrock with crevices and small rock pools.
 Tar lichen occurs in the littoral fringe and extends as patches into the upper shore (supralittoral) with periwinkles. The upper and mid shore are charecterised by barnacles and limpets with the addition of mussels in the mid shore; whilst spiral wrack occurs on the sheltered aspects of the rock and red seaweeds occur across the lower shore.

Habitat classification:
Substrate
LR (Littoral rock)
Habitat
LR.HLR (High energy littoral rock)
FLR (Features of littoral rock)
Biotope complex
LR.HLR. MusB (Mussel and/or barnacle communities)
LR.FLR.Lic (Lichens on supralittoral rock)
LR.FLR.Rkp (Rockpools)
Eph.FLR.Eph (Ephemeral green or red seaweed communities
Biotope
LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock)
LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor (Coralline crust dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools)
LR.FLR.Eph.EntPor (Porphyra purpurea and Entomorpha spp. on sand scoured lower eulittoral rock)


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
















   The rocky shore comprises sloping bed rock with crevices and rockpools. Tar lichen (Verrucaria maura) and rough periwinkles (Littorina sp) occur in the supralittoral, rockpools, barnacles, limpets and barnacles occur throughout the upper, mid and lower shore. Whilst mussels occur with crevices of the mid shore. Spiral wrack (Fucus spiralis) is confined to the sheltered sides of the rock and red occur throughout the mid and lower shore. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock), LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor (Coralline crust dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools) and LR.HLR. MusB (Mussel and/or barnacle communities.


  Small periwinkles (Melarhaphe neritoides) and both species of rough periwinkle (Littorina sp) occur with tar lichen (Verrucaria maura) within the littoral fringe. Habitat classification:  LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock).

Barnacles and limpets occur across the shore (Eulittoral) with small coralline rockpools scattered throughout. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor (Coralline crust dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools) and LR.HLR. MusB (Mussel and/or barnacle communities.

    A small coralline rockpool of the mid shore with a small encrustation of corallinacea crusts, Limpets (Patella sp) and Beadlet anemones (Actinia equina).



Coral weed (Corallina officinalis), Corallinaceae crust, barnacles and epiphytic seaweed within a coralline rockpool

   Limpets (Patella vulgata) and sparse barnacles.

  Limpets (Patella vulgata), barnacles and a red seaweed.

Common blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) occur within crevices amongst barnacles and limpets (Patella sp) of the mid shore. Habitat classification: LR.HLR. MusB (Mussel and/or barnacle communities.

   M. edulis occur within crevices amongst barnacles, limpets (Patella sp) and the red seaweed, Porphya sp.

   Barnacles, M. edulis and periwinkles.

  M. edulis, barnacles and limpets (Patella sp).

1  Further down the shore Barnacles, M. edulis forms clumps overgrown with red seaweed and dog whelks (Nucella lapillus) and periwinkles. 

   Dulse on the lower shore

Dulse on the lower shore

Dulse on the lower shore

    A red seaweed and springtails on the mid shore

  Mastocarpus stellatus, Porphyra sp and Ulva sp on the lower shore

   Fucus spiralis and Ulva sp (previously Entomorpha sp) in a sheltered area of the shore

     F. spiralis in a more sheltered area of the shore

  Cladophora rupestris and F. spiralis

  Ephemeral greens cover the lower shore boulders. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Eph.EntPor (Porphyra purpurea and Entomorpha spp. on sand scoured lower eulittoral rock).

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Rockpooling destination: North Shetland, September 2014

The shore comprised of pebbles, cobbles and boulders slopes gently to the low water mark and is positioned within a sheltered inlet on the Northern extend of Shetland main land.
The upper most shore shore is characterised by lichens and succulent plants with a strandline of washed up seaweed and debris. Channel wrack forms a band in the upper shore before a blanket of fucoids come to cover the mid and lower shore.

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 shore comprises relatively stable pebbles, cobbles and boulders within a sheltered inlet .Habitat classification: LR.LLR (Low energy littoral rock).

  In the splash zone ‘supralittoral’ yellow and grey lichens occur amongst the black lichen, Verrucaria maura. A red succulent plant also occurs amongst the crevices. Habitat classification: LR.FLR.Lic.YG (Yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock).

    Channel wrack (Pelvetia canaliculata) occurs as a band amongst Verrucaria maura in the upper shore. Habitat classification: LR.LLR.F.Pel (Pelvetia canaliculata on sheltered littoral fringe rock)

 New growth of P. canaliculata.

Spiral wrack (Fucus spiralis) with the occasional P. canaliculata occur below the main band of P. canaliculata of the upper shore. Habitat classification: LR.LLR.F.Fspi (Fucus spiralis on moderately exposed to very sheltered upper eulittoral rock) 

A barnacle

    New growth of F. spiralis

F. spiralis, Bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) and Egg wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum).

  Egg wrack (A. nodosum) dominates the mid shore. Habitat classification: LR.LLR.F.Asc (Ascophyllum nodosum on sheltered mid eulittoral rock).

    Beneath the A. nodosum are limpets (Patella vulgata) and barnacles.

   Limpets, dog whelks (Nucella lapillus), edible periwinkles (Littorina littorea) and spirorbid polychaetes occur on boulders beneath the fucoid under storey.

   A limpet covered in spirorbid polychaetes.

  Edible periwinkles (Littorina littorea)

A flat periwinkle (Littorina sp.)

Ulva sp grows on the less stable mixed substrata.

  The surrounding edges of the inlet are comprised of a higher component of cobbles and boulders. Habitat classification: LR.LLR (Low energy littoral rock).