Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

The effects of sand movement on intertidal seaweeds and selected invertebrates at Bound Rock, New Hampshire, USA


A seasonal study of sand movement and the benthic intertidal organisms at Bound Rock, New Hampshire, USA was conducted between November, 1973 and February, 1975. The site is subjected to irregular sand fluctuations, as well as diurnal, neapspring and major summer sand intrusions. The abundance and distribution of intertidal species was interrelated with the historical sand fluctuations at the area. For example, the lower limits of Mytilus edulis, Balanus balanoides and Porphyra umbilicalis approximated the highest summer sand elevations. Highly abraded rock surfaces in the lower intertidal zone were dominated by opportunistic annuals (e.g. Enteromorpha spp.) and perennial psammophytic or sand-loving seaweeds (e.g. Ahnfeltia plicata and Sphacelaria radicans). Overall, the intertidal seaweed populations at Bound Rock showed a lower number of perennials and fewer species than adjacent rocky shores. The low species diversity of seaweeds at the study site is attributable to unstable environmental conditions and a limited number of habitats. Even so, several psammophytic microhabitats are evident at Bound Rock depending upon the extent of sand burial and abrasion. The morphological and reproductive adaptations of several psammophytic species are discussed.

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Marine Biology

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Copyright © 1977, Springer Nature