Kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment

What is it: 

Shallow sublittoral sediments which support seaweed communities typically include the sugar kelp Saccharina latissima, the bootlace weed Chorda filum and various red and brown seaweeds, particularly filamentous types. With increasing shelter from wave action, some algae (e.g. Phyllophora crispa) may develop as loose-lying mats on the sediment surface. A diverse array of animals are associated with these kelp and seaweed dominated habitats e.g. burrowing polychaete worms and bivalves, scavenging hermit crabs, crabs, starfish, fish and grazing top shells.

Only found in shallow water (max. 20m depth), on a wide variety of substrates (muddy sands and gravels through to cobbles and boulders) and in various environmental conditions. Particularly widespread along the west coast of Scotland and in sheltered areas of Orkney and Shetland, with occasional records on the east coast.

Links to Scotland's Marine Atlas: 
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Kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment © SNH