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Rocky Intertidal Shores
Terms in this set (27)
What is the Rocky intertidal?
The coastal area between the highest high tide and the lowest low tide
Advantages of rocky intertidal
Water movement, oxygen
Disadvantages of rocky intertidal
Highly variable (extreme) physical environment
Describe food webs of rocky intertidal zone
Primary production can be very high (attached seaweed as well as benthic algae) - Animals also have access to phytoplankton in overlying waters
-Detritus from local or adjacent habitats may be available and significant
-Deposit feeders are uncommon and limited to soft-sediment patches in depressions on shore or among attached organisms
Forces active in the intertidal zone
What does stenohaline mean?
"Stenohaline" means an organism can only live within a narrow range of water salinity
What does Eurythermal mean?
"Eurythermal" means an organism can live in a wide range of (water) temperature
Aerial exposure presents problems of desiccation and extreme temp in intertidal. What are the behavioral responses?
-Move to crevices, tide pools, algal canopies
What is desiccation?
the removal of moisture from something
How to intertidal organisms avoid desiccation
-Many sessile invertebrates are unable to move with the tide, so settlement preferences made at the end of the larval period important.
How do intertidal organisms adapt to heat and cold stress?
Heat: Shell adaptations
Cold: Cold tolerance
-glycerol /hypersalinity to survive freezing
Impact of Wave stress in intertidal rocky shores? (2)
-Organism size and shape
- Attachment vs size
-Mussel beds, barnacle aggregations, canopy
-Wave stress in open-coast habitats plays a major role in design, abundance and distribution of rocky shore organisms
Adaptations to wave stress?
-Flexible algae allows for bending into high flow
-Mussels in mid densities mitigate wave stress
Advantages in Rocky intertidal community
-Food, light and abundant oxygen
Disadvantages in Rocky intertidal community
Space and extreme environmental conditions
What are the four intertidal zones?
-High tide zone
-Middle tide zone
-Low tide zone
Describe Spray Zone(4)
-Mostly dry, covered by water only during storms
-Dessication and temp stress
-Animals have shells
-Few species of algae
Describe high tide zone(3)
-Fairly dry, covered only by highest high- tide
-Filter feeders and grazers
Describe Middle tide zone(4)
-Equally exposed and covered in low and high tides
-Variety of species
-High competition for space
Describe low tide zone
-Dominated by large seaweeds and kelps
Difference between lower intertidal to subtidal
-Subtidal rocky habitat is a more stable and less physically rigorous environment than the rocky intertidal zone.
- Can support greater plant and animal diversity
-Active predators (crabs, sea stars, anemones)
Biological factors in intertidal
-Competition for space often creates a vertical zonation in the intertidal
Relative location and abundance of species in intertidal is a function of:
1. Ability to withstand wave exposure and/or dessication (we have seen this)
2. Their ability to compete for space
3. Predator prey interactions (later)
What is a keystone species/keystone predator
keystone predator is one of high trophic status that through its feeding activities exerts a disproportionate influence on community structure
What is ecological succession?
the steady and gradual change in a species of a given area with respect to the changing environment. It is a predictable change and is an inevitable process of nature as all the biotic components have to keep up with the changes in our environment.
steps of ecological succession(colonization) (4)
1. Biofilm (algal/bacterial)
4. Element of chance
-Grazers/ predators may alter succession
Summary of rocky intertidal (3)
-Productive but extreme physical environment
- Physical and biological factors regulate species distribution (zonation)
-Disturbance is constant
- Chance events also affect community composition
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