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The Intertidal Wilderness

The Intertidal Wilderness: A Photographic Journey through Pacific Coast Tidepools, Revised Edition

Anne Wertheim Rosenfeld
With Robert T. Paine
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 185
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  • Book Info
    The Intertidal Wilderness
    Book Description:

    The Intertidal Wildernessis a stunning photographic exploration of the tidepools of the Pacific coast, from Baja California to as far north as southeast Alaska. These lush photographs capture in striking color the enormous variety of life and biological detail in the intertidal zone along one of the world's most spectacular coastlines. The interpretative text and captions describe telltale signs of ecological relationships and processes, helping the seashore explorer to appreciate ecological interactions and their consequences. The text delves into the roles of competition, predation, reproduction, natural variation in space and time, and color that characterize this vibrant ecosystem. This revised edition has been updated throughout, incorporating new scientific information, new photographs, and a new chapter discussing the recent human impact on this threatened environment. Fusing art and science,The Intertidal Wildernessconveys the fragility, complexity, and interdependence of the plants and animals living at the interface of land and sea.The Intertidal Wildernessvividly animates the surprisingly delicate beauty of the often violent intertidal zone, which daily withstands pounding waves at high tides as well as desiccation and exposure at low tides. With revealing photographs, engaging text, and a solid foundation in marine biology, this book will capture the imagination of the casual seashore visitor as well as the dedicated enthusiast.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-92230-3
    Subjects: Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Robert T. Paine
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Anne Wertheim Rosenfeld and Robert T. Paine
  5. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-21)

    As long as there has been ocean there has been an intertidal zone. An intertidal zone, by definition the narrow belt lying between the highest and lowest tidemarks, is an “edge” that marks the interface between two very different realms: land and sea. Like many other biological edges, it can be extremely rich. One finds there not only an astounding variety of plants and animals, but also images in color, form, and texture woven layer upon layer. At the more exposed, wave-swept rocky shores along the outer coast, such as those that are the subject of this book, the landscape...

  6. 2 Competition: The Struggle for Limited Resources
    (pp. 22-43)

    Organisms have similar and overlapping needs for the basic requisites of life: a place to live, secure refuges, adequate food, and in the case of plants, light. If demand for a particular resource exceeds supply, the resource becomes a limiting factor that induces competition. Since this interaction is of basic importance to understanding the subtle dynamics of any rocky shore, it is necessary to make some fundamental distinctions. When members of a single species are vying—for instance, when hermit crabs of the same species compete for shells in which to live—the quarrel is calledintraspecific.If two or...

  7. 3 Predation
    (pp. 44-65)

    Along the Pacific coast of North America, predator-prey interactions appear to be of particular consequence to the structure of intertidal communities. Predation governs the distribution of many intertidal organisms and suggests that their colors, shapes, and behaviors reflect the urgent need to avoid being attacked or consumed.

    Predationis the act of eating or preying upon plants or animals by other animals. This process commonly and effectively removes individuals from the substratum, thereby creating space or other resources for different species. Sometimes, though, the prey is only nibbled or partially consumed, and many marine organisms survive these encounters, eventually regenerating...

  8. 4 Reproduction and Settlement on the Shore
    (pp. 66-89)

    Reproduction is of obvious importance if species are to replace their dead, increase in numbers, or extend their geographical distribution, and it occurs by a startling variety of methods. Natural selection favors the traits of those organisms whose offspring survive to become reproductive, which explains the interest of ecologists in all phases of reproductive biology. Not surprisingly, it is more than just the number of offspring produced by a female that renders her the fittest. One must consider the health and vigor of the offspring and thus their probability of surviving to reproduce, since they will be the bearers of...

  9. 5 The Role of Color
    (pp. 90-115)

    Bright colors contribute much of the magic of the intertidal realm and their possible meanings are intriguing. Pigments may be obtained through diet or manufactured metabolically, and their use by individuals in recognition, camouflage, or to warn offpotential predators suggests an adaptive function. Frequently, though, the biological significance of these brilliant hues remains a mystery.

    Light, particularly solar radiation, is the fundamental source of energy for the life-giving process of photosynthesis, and without light there would be no color. The watery environment itself changes some of the properties of light and vision as we know them. Because light is absorbed...

  10. 6 Nature’s Variability: Understanding the Changing Patterns, Conserving the Species
    (pp. 116-140)

    The intertidal zone is in flux from day to day, month to month, and year to year. The variations in time and space that occur at every site may have slight effect, or they may all but drown out the major patterns. On rocky shores at temperate latitudes, the occasional bad storm, the equally devastating spell of cloudless sky and still, low water (which afflict the intertidal with a desert climate for six hours a day), or even a loose log kicked around by the waves can have a dramatic influence. Such events can kill large numbers of mussels, limpets,...

  11. Appendix A: Planning Your Visit to the Tidepools
    (pp. 141-146)
  12. Appendix B: Classifying Animals and Plants
    (pp. 147-150)
  13. Further Reading
    (pp. 151-162)
  14. Photograph Locations and Dates
    (pp. 163-166)
  15. Index
    (pp. 167-174)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 175-175)