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The fauna and flora of sand flats at Inhaca Island, Moçambique
Macnae, W.; Kalk, M. (1962). The fauna and flora of sand flats at Inhaca Island, Moçambique. J. Anim. Ecol. 31: 93-128

www.jstor.org/stable/2334
In: Journal of Animal Ecology. Blackwell Science/British Ecological Society: Oxford. ISSN 0021-8790 , more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
Author keywords
    Inhaca Island

Authors  Top 
  • Macnae, W.
  • Kalk, M.

Abstract
    In this paper, the first study, so far as the authors are aware, of the distribution of animals and plants across tropical sand and mud flats exposed at low tide, will be found descriptions of the zonation of the animals and certain plants on the flats at Inhaca island near Lourenço Marques in Moçambique, East Africa. The flats exposed at low tide are extensive some being up to 4 km from high water mark to low water level. Close on 400 species of animal have been recorded from these flats. The following zones are recognized: 1. A supralittoral fringe of two facies (a) dominated by Ocypodid crabs and Talitrid amphipods on semi-exposed shores, (b) the landward edge of a mangrove swamp with Sesarma spp., Uca spp. and talitrid amphipods on sheltered shores. 2. An upper midlittoral of varying facies: on semi-exposed shores dominated by Donax faba on a sandy slope and a community of tubicolous polychaetes on the flat at the base of the slope: on sheltered shores this area is replaced by the lower levels of the mangrove swamps with various combinations between. 3. A lower midlittoral of three facies (a) a community on dry sandbanks dominated by Dotilla fenestrata (b) a community on waterlogged banks of muddy sand dominated by Macrophthalmus grandidieri and (c) on areas with water lying on the surface a community of which the most conspicuous organism is the `sea grass' Diplanthera uninervis. 4. An infralittoral fringe dominated by (a) spp. of Cymodocea if the area is covered by standing water and (b) by Astropecten if the area is a sandbank. Discussions follow on the effects of shelter and wave action, on the associations of animals with one another and on zoogeographical implications.

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