The Biology of Rocky Shores
by Colin Little and J.A.Kitching

Oxford University Press 1996, reprinted 1998.

ISBN  0-19-854935-0

The book is an introduction to the study of marine rocky shores in the temperate zone. It is designed to encourage students and others to couple enormous intellectual rewards with the pleasure of working in some of the last easily accessible but relatively unspoilt places, and can be used as a basis for field courses, project work, or for lectures.

Every rockpooler will quickly realise that some knowledge of the environmental conditions of the shore are necessary (even if it just means arriving when the tide is low) to get full enjoyment of a visit to the coast. The more often the rockpooler visits the shore to study the creatures in their natural environment (ecology), the more observations he makes and the more questions that are posed.

This book is an excellent choice to further your knowledge of the shore and to answer some of questions from the novice level to quite advanced biological speculation.

It is well written and most readers would regard it as a text book, although it is nowhere like the dried up text books of the past, it does not quite convey the magic of the intertidal zone quite like C.M. Yonge’s “The Seashore” first published in 1949.

Essential reading.

Advanced rockpoolers will need a companion identification guide and this book is complimented by

Handbook of the Marine Fauna of
     North-west Europe

Oxford University Press 1995
 ISBN 0-19-854055-8

This is the most comprehensive guide available, but it is illustrated with line drawings.  Even, in this book not all the species are included, although 99% of the seashore creatures are include


 Chapter 1
The shore environment: problems for organisms and their investigators
  Tides and the problems of being out of water
  Waves and the problems of 'exposure'
  Shore topography and the problems of physical surveys
  Organisms and the problems of collecting, identifying and looking after them
  Making quantitative observations
  Safety and conservation on the shore

 Chapter 2
Vertical distributions: 'zonation' and its causes
'Zonation' on moderately exposed shores
The influence of physical factors on Zonation
The influences of biological interactions on Zonation
What causes zonation? The relative influences of biological and physical factors
Experiments to investigate vertical distribution

Chapter 3
Communities on the shore: the effects of wave exposure
 Communities in relation to wave exposure
 Explanations of the effects of wave exposure
 The communities of special habitats
 The investigation of communities

Chapter 4
Algae, the primary energy sources
 The distribution of littoral macroalgae
 How algae fit into littoral food webs
 Brown algae.' the fucoids
 Brown algae: the laminarians or kelps
 Green algae
 Red algae
 Experiments to investigate algae

Chapter 5
Grazers and their influences
 The distribution of grazers
 The effect of grazers
 Topshells (trochids)
 Mesograzers~amphipods and isopods
 Sea urchins
 Experiments to investigate grazers

Chapter 6
Suspension feeders: how to live on floating food
 The distribution of suspension feeders
 The problems of sitting still: how to be sessile
 The food supply of suspension feeders
 The effects of suspension feeders on plankton populations
 Bryozoans and other encrusting groups
 Sea anemones
 Experiments to investigate suspension feeders

Chapter 7
Predators and their influences
  The distribution of predators
  The effects of predators
  Dog whelks
 Experiments to investigate predators

Chapter 8
The functioning of rocky-shore communities
  Littoral ecosystems: food webs on the shore
  Stability on the shore
  Disturbance and succession: mosaics on the shore
  Community structure: competition as a structuring force
  Community structure: predation as a structurising force
  Community structure: grazing as a structuring force
  The influence of recruitment: supply-side ecology'
 Experimental investigations: how to obtain evidence about the factors structuring communities
 The keystone species hypotheses: does one consumer control the community?
 Investigations of community structure

Chapter 9
Biodiversity, pollution and conservation
  Biodiversity of rocky shores
  Pollution and its effects upon biodiversity
  Some practical guidelines for conservation when working on rocky shores

 Appendix I
A brief classification of selected organisms

Appendix II
Some sites at which research quoted in the text has been carried out

 Further reading

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