A categorisation system for maerl bed habitats in England.
This document aims to discuss and suggest a new categorisation system for different maerl bed habitats in English inshore waters, with potential for wider application around the UK. The main factors being considered when developing a categorising system include physical size, percentage cover, the live versus dead maerl ratio and the physical structure (3D versus 2D). Considering the large variation in condition and size of maerl bed habitats in England, five main categories have been created with specific terms for each: Dense Maerl, Maerl Sediment, Sparse Maerl, Maerl Veneer and Potential Maerl. Within these five categories, one, two or three groups have also been created for each category.