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2-7 Rocky Intertidal

2-7 Rocky Intertidal - Rocky I nte rtidal S s hore Topic 12...

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Rocky Intertidal Shores Topic 12 Chapter 6, pages 270-306 No naturally occurring rocky shores along the northern GOM
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Rocky Intertidal: A few cm to 7 m high “bathtub ring” around much of the world’s oceans Well known ecologically and serves as a model system
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Why are r.s. so well known? Easy to observe (accessible at low tide) and easy to manipulate transplant and exclusion experiments common Space limited with strong and predictable environmental stress Difficult to study larval recruitment
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Zonation Distinct bands of dominant species at various tidal elevation standards (e.g., mean low tide position)
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Figure 6.11
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Pattern in North America: black lichen - supra-tidal fringe (splash zone above mean high tide)
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Pattern in North America: periwinkle zone - snails in the genus Littorina. Algal scrapers
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A crustacean: barnacle zone - crustaceans in the genera Balanus (Semibalanus) and Chthamalus. Suspension feeders - mid-intertidal
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mussel zone - bivalves in the genus Mytilus. Suspension feeders (no mussels in La) - mid intertidal macroalgae - kelp zone - infra-tidal fringe. Red algae and kelp (Laminaria) - can withstand only limited exposure to air
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Boundaries altered by wave action: Splash due to heavy wave action expands zones higher in the intertidal Figure 6.5
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Gradients on rocky shores: Animal and plant biomass and species diversity both increase downward on the shore All peak near mean low water Strong environmental gradients associated with air exposure and wave exposure
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What causes zonation? 1. For sessile species, selection by larvae possible however, many larvaesettleover the whole intertidal 2. Home base (behavior) for mobile species somelimpets are territorial periwinkles will return to a preferred location if swept away
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3. Tolerance temperature, desiccation, O 2 and reduced feeding time lead to increasing stress up theintertidal tolerances arespecies-specific Tolerance to physical stress often sets the upper distributional limit of a species
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