Aquascope Facts
Cliff and rocky beach ecology

What is a cliff or rocky beach?

Rocks and cliffs
Beaches are built with material of varying grain size. Clay is composed of very small grains that are less than 0,002 mm; silt has a grain size between 0,002-0,02 mm; fine sand between 0,02-0,2 mm; common sand between 0,2-2 mm; gravel between 2-20 mm; stones between 2-20 cm; and blocks are larger than 20cm. Those stones and blocks that roll amongst each other in the waves are known as cobblestones. The largest blocks and solid substrate are known as cliffs. Sometimes, these different particles are very well sorted so there is good reason to call beaches after a certain type, but quite often beaches can contain material of varying grain size.
   Those beaches that are composed of smaller particles are described under the chapter about sand beach ecology. In this chapter about cliff and rocky beach ecology we tell you about beaches that are comprised of stones and larger material and we go up the beach as far as the sea spray reaches and as deep as there is enough light for algae to grow.
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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