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Description of the littoral zonation at nine Bahamian rocky-shore localities
Brattström, H. (1999). Description of the littoral zonation at nine Bahamian rocky-shore localities. Sarsia 84: 319-365
In: Sarsia. University of Bergen. Universitetsforlaget: Bergen. ISSN 0036-4827, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

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  • Brattström, H.

Abstract
    Nine typical, more or less vertical, rocky-shore localities were visited in April-May 1967, and one of these was revisited in March 1968. The topographies of the stations are described and illustrated, and the vertical zonation of their flora and fauna is documented. On the whole the flora and fauna at the stations investigated was fairly poor. At least 37 species of algae and 85 animal species were recorded, but only 15 algae and 71 animals could be identified to species. Most of the algae were too undeveloped or grazed down to permit a reliable identification. Only half as many species were found at these nine stations as were found on three almost horizontal beach-rock stations described in an earlier article. Whereas many of the latter lived in a system of cavities below the rocks, all species found on the nine vertical stations were exposed to waves and the hot midday sun. The common yellow, black, grey, and white zones typical of the Bahamas, were often well-developed. Some algae and many of the animals formed distinct belts within these zones, the higher up the more exposed the rocks were. Though tides and exposure presumably are responsible for the general zonation pattern, it is likely that in the cirripeds and vermetids the way of food-intake determines their upper limit. Other important factors as insolation and the nature of the substrate caused irregularities in the general pattern of zonation. The algae occurred in a well-developed lower algal belt in the lower part of the yellow zone where they were often heavily sand-encrusted, and in a less developed upper belt in the black and the upper- most part of the yellow zone. In this upper belt a species of Bostrychia was characteristic. Suggestions for future investigations in the littoral are presented.

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