A view of our boat at Gaulin Reef in the Bahamas
The intertidal zone is an extremely unique region incorporating many niches in a relatively small area. The physical conditions of the intertidal zone are determined by such influential variables as temperature, light, salinity, wave action, and submersion. All of these factors combine to create the different niches for organisms. Both flora and fauna are known to exhibit vertical zonation in response to the physical conditions associated with the intertidal zone. A variety of organisms and their lifestyles will be examined including snails, crabs, kelp, and algae. Lastly, larger-scale implications will be explored including the impact of global climate change on intertidal zones.
I. Physical Setting
A. Geology- rocky vs sandy
B. Ocean meets land- transitional zone
II. Variables- their implications on organisms
C. Wave Action
F. Resulting niches
A. Motile vs. sessile
B. Case Studies
A. Case Studies
V. Implications/ Applications
A. Global Climate Change
B. Coastal Development
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Castilla, Juan Carlos, Ricardo GuiĖez, Andrés U. Caro, and Verónica Ortiz. “Invasion of a
Rocky Intertidal Shore by the Tunicate Pyura praeputialis in the Bay of Antofagasta, Chile”
PNAS (2004) 101.23: 8517-8524.
Denny, Mark and Brian Gaylord. “The Mechanics of Wave-swept Algae” The Journal of
Experimental Biology (2002) 205: 1355-1362.
Dittmann, S. “Zonation of Benthic Communities in a Tropical Tidal Flat of North-east Australia”
Journal of Sea Research (2000) 43: 33-51.
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Gheskiere, Tom, Eveline Hoste, Jan Vanaverbeke, Magda Vinex, and Steven Degraer.
“Horizontal Zonation Patterns and Feeding Structure of Marine Nematode Assemblages on
a Macrotidal , Ultra-dissipative Sandy Beach” Journal of Sea Research (2004) 52: 211-226.
Halldórsson, Halldór P., Gunilla Ericson, Jörundur, Svavarsson. “DNA Strand Breakage in
Mussels (Mytilus edulis L.) Deployed in Intertidal and Subtidal Zone in Reykjavík Harbour”
Marine Environmental Research (2004) 58: 763-767.
Helmuth, Brian, Joel G. Kingsolver, and Emily Carrington. “Biophysics, Physiological Ecology,
and Climate Change: Does Mechanism Matter?” Annual Review of Physiology (2005) 67:
Knight, Jasper. “Controls on the Formation of Coastal Ventifacts” Geomorphology (2005) 64:
Paine, Robert T. “Trophic Control of Production in a Rocky Intertidal Community” Science
(2002) 296: 736-739.
Phillips, Julia C. and Catriona L. Hurd. “Kinetics of Nitrate, Ammonium, and Urea Uptake by
Four Intertidal Seaweeds from New Zealand” Journal of Phycology (2004) 40: 534-545.
Rolán-Alvarez, Emilio, Monica Carballo, Juan Galindo, Paloma Morán, Blanca Fernández,
Armando Caballero, Raquel Cruz, Elizabeth G. Boulding, and Kerstin Johannesson.
“Nonallopatric and Parallel Origin of Local Reproductive Barriers between Two Snail
Ecotypes” Molecular Ecology (2004) 13: 3415-3424.
Spencer, Tom and Heather Viles. “Bioconstruction, Bioerosion and Disturbance on Tropical
Coasts: Coral Reefs and Rocky Limestone Shores” Geomorphology (2002) 48: 23-50.
Stillman, Jonathon H. “A Comparative Analysis of Plasticity of Thermal Limits in Porcelain
Crabs across Latitudinal and Intertidal Zone Clines” International Congress Series (2004)
Trussell, Geoffrey C., Patrick J. Ewanchuk, and Mark D. Bertness. “Field Evidence of Trait-
mediated Indirect Interaction in a Rocky Intertidal Food Web” Ecology Letters (2002) 5: 241-
Vargas, Cristian A., Diego A. Narváez, Andrea PiĖones, Roberto M. Venegas, and Sergio A.
Navarrete. “Internal Tidal Bore Warm Fronts and Settlement of Invertebrates in Central
Chile” Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (2004) 61: 603-612.
Wikelski, Martin and Peter H. Wrege. “Niche Expansion, Body Size, and Survival in Galápagos
Marine Iguanas” Oecologia (2000) 124: 107-115.
Wright, J.T., S.L. Williams, and M.N. Dethier. “No Zone is Always Greener: Variation in the
Performance of Fucus garneri Embryos, Juveniles and Adults across Tidal Zone and Season”
Marine Biology (2004) 154: 1061-1073.
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