Occurs on shaded vertical or overhanging rock surfaces in the shallow subtidal, between 1-30 m depth. Requires at least moderate water movement, to provide a supply of food particles. Alcyonium hibernicum
requires some shelter from wave action, such as that provided by the landward side of overhanging rocks.
Found in localities somewhat sheltered from strong wave action and out of the light. On rocks with little algal growth, beneath overhangs, in crevices, caves, on wrecks, etc. Depth range 0-35m. May occur in enclosed situations such as sea lochs (loughs) where salinity is slightly reduced.
Known to produce larvae which settle close to the parent colony, resulting in very localised distribution.