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Atlantic Shorelines: Natural History and Ecology

By: Mark D Bertness

448 pages, 69 color plates, 327 line illus., 3 tables

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Nov 2006 | #160392 | ISBN: 0691125546
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NHBS Price: £57.99 $76/€66 approx
Hardback | Nov 2006 | #160393 | ISBN: 0691125538
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About this book

&i;Atlantic Shorelines&o; is an introduction to the natural history and ecology of shoreline communities on the East Coast of North America. Writing for a broad audience, Mark Bertness examines how distinctive communities of plants and animals are generated on rocky shores and in salt marshes, mangroves, and soft sediments on Atlantic shorelines.

The book provides a comprehensive background for understanding the basic principles of intertidal ecology and the unique conditions faced by intertidal organisms. It describes the history of the Atlantic Coast, tides, and near-shore oceanographic processes that influence shoreline organisms; explains primary production in shoreline systems, intertidal food webs, and the way intertidal organisms survive; sets out the unusual reproductive challenges of living in an intertidal habitat, and the role of recruitment in shaping intertidal communities; and outlines how biological processes like competition, predation, facilitation, and ecosystem engineering generate the spatial structure of intertidal communities.

The last part of the book focuses on the ecology of the three main shoreline habitats--rocky shores, soft sediment beaches, and shorelines vegetated with salt marsh plants and mangroves--and discusses in detail conservation issues associated with each of them.

Praise for Mark Bertness's Ecology of Atlantic Shorelines: "[T]he major strength of this book is Bertness' ability to present important concepts and ideas in a conversational text, one which should be engaging to students. I think he does an excellent job in pulling together many fields of study (geology, hydrology, and ecology) in a way that shows the interconnectedness of these fields on the Atlantic shorelines. -- Mary Crowe Ecology Atlantic Shorelines is fairly technical and aimed at a college audience but is of interest to anyone who wants a greater understanding of our nearby Atlantic shoreline. Wildlife Activist A definite seashore man at heart, Bertness has produced a wonderful general introduction and field guide to the ecology of shoreline communities of the North American coast... Hopefully, another thoughtful book such as this one will be on the horizon. Biology Digest The volume is clearly written and very well referenced... The book will be an excellent reference for students and anyone interested in shoreline environments and who wants to understand the organization and processes that govern intertidal systems. -- Larry G. Harris Quarterly Review of Biology


Preface ix Acknowledgments xi Chapter 1: The Setting 1 Continental Drift and the Age of the East Coast 2 Sea Level Change 5 Winter Ice 8 Barrier Islands 9 Species Origins and Invasions 11 Introduced Species 13 Tides 18 Waves and Water Movement 24 Waves Hitting the Shore 25 Effects of Shoreline Topography on Waves 27 Wave Effects on Shorelines 28 Water Movement 30 Summary 33 Further Reading 34 Chapter 2: The Economy of the Shoreline: The Production and Consumption of Resources 36 Primary Productivity 36 Bottom-up Control of Shoreline Communities 48 Top-down Control of Shoreline Communities 53 Consumer Feeding Strategies 56 Foraging Decisions 63 Prey Defenses 70 Summary 83 Further Reading 84 Chapter 3: Reproduction and Recruitment of Shoreline Organisms 86 Fertilization 87 Types of Development 94 Problems Facing Planktonic Larvae 100 Factors Regulating the Recruitment of Planktonic Larvae 112 Population and Community Effects of Variable Larval Supply 123 Summary 128 Further Reading 128 Chapter 4: Process and Pattern in Shoreline Communities 130 Zonation 130 Competitive Interactions 133 Positive Interactions 142 Consumer Effects 149 Interactions among the Forces That Shape Shoreline Communities 157 Natural Disturbance Processes 159 Mechanisms of Secondary Succession 164 Ecosystem Engineering 167 Summary 170 Further Reading 171 Chapter 5: Rocky Shores 172 Rocky Intertidal Algae 173 Rocky Intertidal Herbivores 182 Predators on Rocky Shores 195 Stresses in Rocky Intertidal Habitats 203 Zonation 215 Conservation Issues 235 Summary 238 Further Reading 239 Chapter 6: Soft-sediment Habitats 241 The Physical Habitat 242 Tidal Flat Organisms 246 Zonation in Intertidal Soft-substrate Habitats 267 Ecosystem Engineering in Soft-Sediment Habitats 283 Conservation Concerns 301 Summary 302 Further Reading 303 Chapter 7: Salt Marsh and Mangrove Communities 304 Marsh Development 305 Marsh Plant Zonation 308 Physical Stresses on Marsh Plants 322 Competition among Marsh Plants 325 Positive Feedback in Marsh Plant Communities 330 Consumer Control in Salt Marsh Systems 335 Disturbance in Marsh Plant Communities 337 Secondary Succession in Marsh Plant Communities 340 Marsh Production and Its Effect on Estuarine Habitats 344 Animals of Salt Marshes 348 Predators 365 Marshes as Nursery Grounds 366 Marsh Conservation 368 Mangrove Forests 373 Summary 380 Further Reading 382 Glossary 383 Bibliography 391 Index 423

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Mark D. Bertness is Robert P. Brown Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University.

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