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The Biology of Rocky Shores

Series: Biology of Habitats Series

By: Colin Little, Gray A Williams and Cynthia D Trowbridge

356 pages, B/w illus, figs, maps

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Mar 2009 | Edition: 2 | #176995 | ISBN-13: 9780198564911
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £45.99 $61/€52 approx
Hardback | Feb 2009 | Edition: 2 | #176996 | ISBN-13: 9780198564904
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £97.99 $129/€112 approx

About this book

This new edition offers a concise but comprehensive introduction to rocky shore ecology and has been completely revised and updated throughout. It describes the diverse biota (invertebrates, vertebrates, seaweeds, seagrasses and microalgae) that inhabit rocky shores, and the factors that determine their distributions, abundances and interactions. The book discusses the latest research on processes that control community structure, utilizing a global range of examples from a wide range of shore types - both temperate and tropical.

The Biology of Rocky Shores begins by describing the shore environment, including the conditions caused by tidal rise and fall as well as an introduction to the effects of waves. It goes on to describe the biodiversity of the rocky shore environment, from seaweeds and cyanobacteria to starfish and oystercatchers, and some of the adaptations these organisms exhibit on the shore. The book discusses in turn the biology of primary producers, grazers, suspension feeders and predators, and the ways in which these trophic groups interact in various communities. The vertical and horizontal distributions of species in relation to the tidal cycle and wave exposure are also considered. The contributions that species make in determining how rocky-shore communities function, and how they interact with off-shore systems, are explored in detail. Human influences, notably pollution, over-fishing and the introduction of alien species, are discussed in the context of rocky shore conservation and future management strategies. A final chapter offers guidance on methods of study, techniques, and experimental approaches.

This volume is recommended reading for anyone interested in rocky shore ecology. Researchers will also find it useful as a reference, and its well-written, nontechnical style also makes it an excellent source of information for more general readers with an interest in their local shorelines; therefore, it will be a valuable addition to most public libraries. The writing is clear and flows well, making it a pleasure to read. - Quarterly Review of Biology

"Overall, the book is a delightful piece of work, well documented, with more than 500 references. The text is easy to read and gives a straightforward synthesis of current scientific knowledge. Its conciseness, key-references and many diagrams, make it a goldmine for teachers of marine ecology." - Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin


1: The shore environment
2: The diversity of shore organisms
3: Coping with life on the shore: adaptations of littoral organisms
4: Primary producers on the shore: the autotrophs
5: Utilizing autotrophic resources: the grazers
6: Suspension feeders: how to live on floating food
7: Eating flesh: the predators
8: Vertical distributions: 'zonation' and its causes
9: How organisms are gathered together: communities on the shore and the effects of wave exposure
10: The functioning of rocky shore communities
11: Human influences on rocky shores
12: Methods and experimental approaches
Appendix: Name changes of ecologically important

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Colin Little, Honorary Research Associate, University of Bristol, UK, Gray A. Williams, The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, and Cynthia D. Trowbridge, Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, USA

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