Rocky_Intertidal

Rocky_Intertidal - Rocky Intertidal Ecology Morgan E....

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1 Rocky Intertidal Ecology Morgan E. Mouchka PhD Student Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Currently… Previously…
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2 The Transition What is the intertidal zone? • The area of the shore that is exposed to air at low tide and submerged during high tide • i.e., the area between tide marks
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3 Why study intertidal communities? • Intertidal communities are among the most studied and best understood of all marine communities – Easy to access – No need for cumbersome equipment – Easy to return to exact location – Dynamic communities that are highly biodiverse • Although the intertidal zone constitutes only a tiny fraction of the marine environment, the lessons learned have added to our knowledge of marine ecology, and ecology in general During low tide, when intertidal organisms are exposed to air, they are also subjected to a wide variety of stressors, including changes in: Moisture Temperature Food availability Wave energy Salinity Dissolved oxygen Coping with stress: water loss • To avoid desiccation, intertidal organisms most be able to prevent it, tolerate it, or both. • Preventing: – Two main strategies • Run and hide (e.g., mobile organisms) – Tide pool – Crevice – algae
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4 • Preventing: – Two main strategies • Run and hide • Clamping-up Coping with stress: water loss • Tolerating – Organisms allow themselves to dry out • Some chitons can survive the loss of 75% of their body’s water • Some seaweeds can withstand water loss of as much as 90% – These organisms quickly recover when the tide comes in Coping with stress: water loss Coping with stress: temperature • Sea surface temperatures are relatively constant due to the high heat capacity of water • Air temperatures can be much more extreme
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2008 for the course EAS 1540 taught by Professor Monger during the Fall '07 term at Cornell.

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Rocky_Intertidal - Rocky Intertidal Ecology Morgan E....

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