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Intertidal Environments
Intertidal Life
Intertidal  Distribution Patterns
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Intertidal Environments

The intertidal rocky shore is an extreme habitat that is in a state of almost constant change when compared to land or the sea.

Due to water movements associated with tides, waves and spray, conditions affecting different levels on the rocky shore vary continuously throughout the day.

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Coralline algae and smooth limpets
     
Exposure to air is stressful to marine organisms just as submersion in water is stressful to terrestrial species. Most species on the rocky shore gain oxygen through moist gills and require strategies to ensure gills are kept moist.
 
   

Not surprisingly, most of the physical stresses affecting marine organisms in this environment are associated with exposure to air and potential desiccation. An additional limiting factor can be exposure to waves that create shear forces on the rocks and could potentially dislodge organisms.

Other physical factors influencing distribution could include changes in salinity, dissolved oxygen levels, and substrate type and availability of shelter.

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Cunjevoi and kelp
 

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