The rocky shore is a high energy environment comprised of boulders and bedrock with rock pools, crevices and gullies.
The high energy environment of the shore leads to an extended lichen zone, that descends over much of the boulder field, which apart from Littorinids is relatively barren. Patches of lichens extend further down into the barnacle communities, which dominate from the upper to lower shore, inter-dispersed by shallow coralline rockpools in the mid shore, and deeper cobble filled rockpools on the lower shore. As the low tide mark is reached wave tolerant seaweeds lace the gullies.
LR (Littoral rock)
LR.HLR (High energy littoral rock)
LR.FLR (Features of littoral rock)
LR.HLR. MusB (Mussel and/or barnacle communities)
LR.HLR.FR (Robust fucoid and/or red seaweed communities)
LR.FLR.Lic.(Lichens on supralittoral and littoral fringe rock).
LR.HLR.MusB.Cht (Chthamalus sp on exposed upper eulittoral rock)
LR.HLR.MusB.Sem (Semibalanus balanoides on exposed to moderately exposed or vertical sheltered eulittoral rock)
LR.FLR.Lic.Ver (Verrucaria Maura on littoral fringe rock)
LR.FLR.Lic.YG (Yellow and grey lichens on supralittoral rock)
LR.FLR.Rkp.Cor (Coralline crust dominated shallow eulittoral rockpools)
Below are images of the organisms you may encounter in these habitats:
|During winter storms slabs of granite were broken away from the bedrock. Now in June this rock has not yet been colonised.|
|The same area of bedrock in March 2016.|
|Lichina pygmaea forms tufts of varying density|
|During the summer months rockpools experience prolific growth of ephemeral green seaweeds.|
|The distribution of the ephemeral green seaweeds can be patchy.|
|In many cases the ephemeral green seaweeds dominate the coralline rockpools.|
|Ephemeral green seaweeds come to dominate many of the shallow rockpools during the summer months.|
|Bifurcaria bifurcata in a shallow coralline eulittoral rockpool|
|Compared to March there are a greater diversity of ephemeral and seasonal seaweeds, including Scytosiphon lomentaria.|
|On the sections of moderately exposed lower shore the diversity of seaweeds on the exposed bedrock also increases.|
Red seaweed 'turfs' form between damp crevices and beneath overhangs.
|The highest diversity of life is still found within the rockpools and on the lower shore were there is an explosion of seaweeds!|
|As the subtidal pools are reached the abundance of red seaweeds and kelp increase.|