Site details

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5 stars - Fully protected as a national park or Natura 2000 site by national legislation
LTBR Focal Site

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The Laboratory of Roscoff and the Bay of Morlaix. Photo:

Synoptic description of site:

Roscoff offers a wide variety of biotopes inhabited by a specially rich fauna and flora (especially seaweeds) both atlantic and northern origin.

Extensive description of site:

From the seashore tothe depths, within a radius of 25 miles off the Roscoff Port. Situated on the North coast of Brittany, at the entrance to the Channel, Roscoff offers a wide variety of biotopes inhabited by a specially rich fauna and flora (especially seaweeds) both atlantic and northern origin. Roscoff (Bay of Morlaix), on the North coast of Brittany, France, is a large shallow bay at the entrance of the Channel. It offers a wide variety of biotopes inhabited by a rich fauna and flora (seaweeds). The occurrence of small estuaries exhibits representative salinity gradient effects on sediment and rock. 4 sites are mainly involved with biodiversity research: the Pierre Noire & Rivière de Morlaix benthic long-term survey stations, and the Estacade & Somlit stations for hydrographic and planktonic surveys.

Habitats present:
Seagrass bedsX

Description of fauna and flora:

The fauna (more than 3000 species) and flora (about 700 species) are exceptionally well documented, and have been researched since the Biological Station of Roscoff was opened in 1872.

Pristiness: High


The anthropogenic stress is quite low and of strictly agricultural origin.

Human impact:

The area is subjected to low levels of pollution from agricultural activity. Turbity of coastal waters remains relatively low in the greatest part of the area despite the occurrence of small estuaries. A great part of the Bay of Morlaix is classified as a future Natura 2000 area.


All facilities for marine biodiversity research are available, from seagoing research vessel, fully equipped laboratories, 3 practical work rooms, 4 seminar rooms, the Library and the information department, a 52 room hotel and a conference room for 120 people.

Available database and website:

The species inventory (‘The Marine Fauna and Flora of Roscoff’) is very comprehensive, and is available as hard copy. The data are currently being transferred into a computer data bank; the molluscan inventory is now available on-line ( ).


Commitment and ongoing research:

The Biological Station of Roscoff (particularly the CNRS UMR 7127 research group), is involved in analytical and/or functional biodiversity studies: Phytoplankton team (head: Dr Daniel VAULOT), Zooplankton team (head: Dr Serge POULET, Benthic Ecology team (head: Prof Dominique DAVOULT), Population Genetics and Evolution team (head: Dr Myriam VALERO), Marine Chemistry team (head: Dr Pascal MORIN).

Additional Information:

An extensive list of references is available as a hard copy.