The Biology of Rocky Shores (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198564911

Colin Little; Gray A. Williams; Cynthia D. Trowbridge
376 ページ
156 x 233 mm
Biology of Habitats Series

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.


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 taxa
Further reading


Colin Little studied zoology at Cambridge University, and stayed on to do a Ph.D. on snail physiology. Then he migrated to Miami, USA, where he worked at the Institute of Marine Science, University of Miami, and first encountered the (at the time little-known) phylum Pogonophora. This provided his conversion to marine biology, and he returned to the University of Bristol, England and began to study the biology of the Severn Estuary as well as the brackish-water ecology of coastal lagoons. Running marine field courses and teaching estuarine and marine biology became major interests. He started to do research at Lough Hyne, Ireland, about 30 years ago, and there he began to concentrate on the biology of limpets and long-term intertidal monitoring. He is now retired, but continues these monitoring studies. ; Gray A. Williams spent many of his childhood summers messing around on the shores of South Wales. He enjoyed it so much, he decided to make a career of it and studied Biology at the University of Manchester, UK. After graduation, he studied for a PhD at the University of Bristol, investigating the relationship between littorinid snails and their host algae. During this time, he was lucky enough to be introduced to Lough Hyne, Ireland which stimulated his interest in the foraging behaviour of marine gastropods. He continued his work on littorinids as a Post Doctoral Fellow at Port Erin Marine Laboratory, Liverpool University, before joining The University of Hong Kong to work at The Swire Institute of Marine Science, which he currently runs. In his time at Hong Kong he has supervised > 30 higher degree students and teaches courses on coastal ecology. His present research focuses on thermal stress and its impact on the behaviour and physiology of intertidal grazers.; Cynthia D. Trowbridge has been fascinated with tidepools, beach drift and marine life for the past forty years. Her educational background includes a B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University. She has conducted ecological research on herbivore-seaweed interactions in nine countries, including her current work in the UK, Ireland and Japan. Her specialties include the feeding ecology of herbivorous sea slugs and the problem of invasive seaweeds. She teaches marine-oriented field courses for university students, state park staff, and the general public. Cynthia is the currently serving as the Managing Editor of the American Malacological Bulletin.