Aquascope Facts
Cliff and rocky beach ecology

Web amongst the dead

Dead organic material is of great importance for the food webs along rocky shorelines. This material is called detritus and is composed of whole or fragments of dead organisms, faeces and other waste products, egg shells, exoskeleton that certain animals have sloughed, etc. In detritus material there are many nutrients that are important for algae and other primary producers. Primary producers are those organisms that build organic material from inorganic substances like carbon dioxide, water and nutritive salts (e.g. nitrates and phosphates). If these nutritive salts were not released from the detritus, salt would eventuelly dissappear from the water and it would be impossible for the primary producers to build new organic material. With the absence of these primary producers, there would no food for the animals to eat. Therefore, the breaking down of detritus is of great importance, and this on its own creates an environment where the different organisms interact in a food web. This web contains bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms, aswell as larger animals like shelfish, worms and crustaceans. Detritus seaweed and bacteria
Large quantities of seaweed that have been torn lose and other detritus have fastened in this bottom crevice. When the remnants of dead animals and algae have been broken down by micro-organisms and oxygen resources became depleted. In the zones of low and high oxygen content, a white mat of bacteria finds a congenial environment.

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Cliffs and rocks are fantastic!
Zoning and flecked occurrence
Animals that are attached
Modular construction
Variation and change
Variations in water level
Wave exposure
Both cliffs and rocks
Freshwater and saltwater
Geography, climate and history
Organisms life cycles
Organisms effect on each other
Energy and the flow of material

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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson