Aquascope Facts

Cliff and rocky beach ecology

Mass occurrence of blue mussels

Mussel carpet
This crevice is exposed to very powerful waves and its walls are covered with blue mussels. The mussels are woven together by their byssus threads to form dense mats. When the mussels grow it soon becames crowded and they start pressing against each other and away from the substrate and start growing on top of each other, thus forming a new layer. This makes it easy for the waves to tear loose large chunks out of the mat and other organisms such as red algae and barnacles get a chance to get a foothold on the free area.

Back Mussel carpet
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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© Aquascope 2000   Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory, Strömstad, Sweden
Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson