Aquascope Facts
Cliff and rocky beach ecology Stones, blocks and cliffs can be composed of different material. Hard material like granite is a secure base for organisms to attach to, compared to more porous and easily eroded material like sand and limestone, but because of their porosity, they do not dry out as quick. They can also build many micro environments, for example in crevices, cavities and caves, which is important for a great many organisms. Notice how many cliff living organisms find hard man made objects congenial.

Zoning and flecked occurrence

Zoning along cliffs Flecked occurrence
On cliffs by the sea, certain organisms are more common than others, especially vertically. Here it is possible to see distinctive belts or zones that are dominated by a certain very noticable specie, but often the organisms are so mixed that no distinctive pattern is seen. How these variations arise and change during different periods, for example seasonal, has not been studied enough to enable an exact description.
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Cliffs and rocks are fantastic!
Zoning and flecked occurrence
Animals that are attached
Modular construction
Variation and change
Variations in sea 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