IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Ocean waves, nearshore ecology, and natural selection
Denny, M.W. (2006). Ocean waves, nearshore ecology, and natural selection. Aquat. Ecol. 40(4): 439-461. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10452-004-5409-8
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Author 

Keywords
    Biomechanics; Biomechanics; Drag; Intertidal environment; Lifting; Wave theory; Marine

Author  Top 
  • Denny, M.W.

Abstract
    Although they are subjected to one of the most stressful physical environments on earth, wave-swept rocky shores support a highly diverse community of plants and animals. The surprising presence of such diversity amidst severe environmental adversity provides a unique opportunity for exploration of the role of extreme water flows in community ecology and natural selection. Methods are described by which the maximal water velocity and acceleration can be predicted for a site on the shore, and from these values maximal hydrodynamic forces are calculated. These forces can limit the range and foraging activity of some species, and can determine the rate of disturbance in others, but in general, wave-swept organisms have surprisingly high factors of safety. This apparent over-design can help to explain the diversity of forms present on wave-swept shores, and provides examples of how mechanics can limit the ability of natural selection to guide specialization. Although flow itself may commonly be prohibited from selecting for optima in morphology, it nonetheless continues to play a potentially important role in evolution by providing a mechanism for breaking or dislodging individuals that have been selected by other means.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Author