Aquascope Facts
Cliff and rocky beach ecology
Playing in the waves
To sit here is not always so safe - even if one looks for refuge behind a rock.
Powerful waves can cause problems for organisms living on rocks and cliffs:
  • Organisms can be torn lose and washed away.
  • Organisms can be injured from the momentum of the waves. (Those of you that have jumped into the water from a high place can imagine what a powerful wave can do when it hits an organism with all its energy.)
  • The waves can throw objects against organisms and cause injury.
  • It becames difficult for, e.g. spores and larvae to attach themselves to cliffs and rocks.
  • Organisms are disturbed while looking for food or a mate.
  • The mixing of surface water inhibits its heating up during the spring.
    High jump

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