Northern seafan and sponge communities - Other northern sea fan and sponge communities (Priority Marine Feature) (SNH WMS)

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Marine Scotland Information NMPi icon

The Priority Marine Feature (PMF) list contains 81 habitats and species considered to be of conservation importance in Scotland's seas. It includes many features which are characteristic of the Scottish marine environment, ranging from flame shell beds in coastal waters, to cold-water coral reefs of the deeper seas, and mobile species such as minke whale and basking shark.

Northern sea fan communities comprise dense aggregations of the northern sea fan (Swiftia pallida) and the cup coral (Caryophyllia smithii) together with a wide range of other species occurring on upward-facing and vertical rock surfaces. S. pallida plays host to the nationally rare sea fan anemone Amphianthus dohmii. These communities are characteristic of the moderately exposed rocky habitats of the west coast and Outer Hebrides and occur below ~20m.

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