The algal communities of the rocky coasts have attracted more investigators, both botanical and zoological, than have those of any other type of coast. This is because the fauna and flora are more attractive, more extensive and more readily identifiable, and also because the zonation is generally so well-marked. An observant investigator of rocky sea coasts cannot help but be impressed by the remarkably distinct zoning of the principal organisms: this is often so pronounced that it is clearly evident from the decks of boats passing by close to the shore. This zonation, moreover, is not confined to any one region but is found almost universally throughout the world. The vertical extent of the zones or belts depends on the tidal rise, the greater the rise the more extensive each zone. Even in the Caribbean where the tidal rise is about nine inches, it is possible to observe a zonation, though each zone may not cover more than two inches vertically. Any one of the major species commonly occupies a very definite vertical range, but occasionally may be found outside this range and then there is some cause, e.g. the presence of a rock pool, which makes conditions favourable for its existence.
KeywordsSpring Tide Rocky Shore Splash Zone Algal Turf Exposed Coast
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