North Atlantic Rhodolith Beds
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Aggregations of living unattached corallines, previously often referred to as nodules, were given the name rhodoliths by Bosselini and Ginsburg ( 1971 ). Adey and MacIntyre ( 1973 ) provided an early discussion of their genesis and distribution. Such aggregations have long been known as maerl in the North East Atlantic, a Breton term for unattached thalli that lack a shell or pebble core (Irvine and Chamberlain 1994 ). Here, we provide an overview of rhodolith/maerl occurrence in the colder/temperate waters of the North Atlantic and summarize the distribution, species composition, biodiversity and ecological importance of these habitats.
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