Do intertidal organisms simply respond to the rise and fall of tides, or do they possess biological timing and navigation mechanisms that allow them to anticipate when conditions are most favourable? How are the patterns of growth, development and reproduction of some marine plants and animals related to changes in day-length or to phases of the moon? The author describes how marine organisms, from single cells to vertebrates, on sea shores, in estuaries and in the open ocean, have evolved inbuilt biological clockwork and synchronisation mechanisms which control rhythmic processes and navigational behaviour, permitting successful exploitation of highly variable and often hostile environments.
Adopting a hypothesis-testing and experimental approach, the book is intended for undergraduate and postgraduate students of marine biology, marine ecology, animal behaviour, oceanography and other biological sciences and also as an introduction for researchers, including physiologists, biochemists and molecular biologists entering the field of chronobiology.
1. Moonshine; 2. Biorhythms of coastal organisms; 3. Tidal and daily time-cues; 4. Clocks and compasses; 5. Lunar and semilunar rhythms; 6. Annual biorhythms; 7. Plankton vertical migration rhythms; 8. Staying put in estuaries; 9. Ocean drifters; 10. Living clockwork.
Ernest Naylor is professor emeritus at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, where he was Lloyd Roberts Professor of Marine Zoology and Head of School of Ocean Sciences. He has published over 160 scientific publications and has been a Council Member of the UK Natural Environment Research Council, the UK Marine Biological Association, the Challenger Society for Marine Sciences, and a past-President of the Society for Experimental Biology and the Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association. He has participated in a House of Lords Select Sub-Committee and various UK and European Commission co-ordinating committees for Marine Science and Technology and is currently involved in reviews of scientific programmes of several marine laboratories in the UK and France, and of UK-supported fisheries projects in the developing world. In 1998 he was appointed OBE. This will be his third book.
Naylor's defense of lunar cycles in marine organisms is well organized and well written. This book contains an extensive amount of information on a narrow topic. For those interested in the topic, it will be an essential resource. Highly recommended. S.R. Fegley, Choice Magazine