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Sandy beach community structure: the role of exposure and latitude
Dexter, D.M. (1992). Sandy beach community structure: the role of exposure and latitude. J. Biogeogr. 19(1): 59-66
In: Journal of Biogeography. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 0305-0270, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Beaches; Exposure tolerance; Intertidal environment; Latitude

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  • Dexter, D.M.

    Data on structure of sandy beach communities in cluding number of species, diversity, taxonomic composition, density, and median grain size from 284 locations around the world were analysed to consider the effects of exposure and latitude. Number of species, H', density, and species richness increased with reduced exposure to wave action. The number of species per beach was highest for cold temperate beaches and decreased gradually towards the tropic, with high numbers in the tropics observed only on very protected beaches. There were no significant relationships between species richness, H', or density with latitude. The lack of an increase in diversity and species richness from the temperate zone to the trpics contrast with the patterns shown for other habitats and other large species assemblages. Two explanations are offered: the inadequate state of systematics and ecology of tropical taxa, and the physically stressful nature of the tropical intertidal habitat for marine invertebrates.

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