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The distribution of intertidal macrofauna on the coasts of Iceland in relation to temperature
Ingólfsson, A. (1996). The distribution of intertidal macrofauna on the coasts of Iceland in relation to temperature. Sarsia 81: 29-44
In: Sarsia. University of Bergen. Universitetsforlaget: Bergen. ISSN 0036-4827, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

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  • Ingólfsson, A.

Abstract
    Records of intertidal macrofauna, mostly collected since 1974, were analysed by the use of a 10x10 km plotting system. Data have been obtained on 208 such squares of the total of 378 straddling the intertidal, or 55.0 %. Adequate data were available on 103 species. Nine of 37 obligate intertidal species (24 %) appear to reach distributional limits towards cooler seas going clockwise around Iceland from the south coast. The presence of warm springs in the intertidal extends the range of one species far beyond the main limits. There is no example of obligate intertidal species reaching distributional limits towards warmer seas within Iceland, emphasizing the non-arctic character of the intertidal fauna. Of 66 species occurring both in the intertidal and subtidal, 11 (17 %) reach distributional limits towards cooler seas in the intertidal and appear not to penetrate further subtidally, while one species (1 %) may show the reverse pattern of limits towards warmer seas. However, some 34 intertidal-subtidal species (51 %) show a more restricted distribu-tion in the intertidal than in the subtidal, the restriction being to the warmer coastal regions in all but one instance. Low and variable air temperatures probably become critical to these species on colder coasts. Distributional limits in the intertidal, both of obligate intertidal species and of those also found in the subtidal, tended to concentrate in regions of the coasts with relatively abrupt temperature changes, while there were also instances of limits along stretches of coasts with uniform temperatures.

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