An introduction to bundles, connections, metrics and by Taubes C.H.

By Taubes C.H.

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7 Kelp growth measured from holes punched into the base of the frond. becomes detritus. This supports a diverse community of suspension feeders which includes sponges, mussels, holothurians and ascidians; these in turn are consumed by predators such as starfish, lobsters and fish. Uprooted plants cast on to the shore are degraded by myriads of amphipods and isopods. These complex trophic relationships are driven by energy subsidies in the form of wind and waves. Upwelling, generated by offshore winds, provides a supply of nutrient-rich water for the autotrophs.

In Britain the distribution of many rocky-shore organisms corresponds closely with sea temperature (Lewis, 1964) and some species are known to advance or retreat with long-term shifts in climate. g. via its effects on adult survival, competitive ability or reproductive success) is less well documented and the underlying physiological mechanisms are probably extremely complex. Man can influence distribution by introducing species, either accidentally or for commercial exploitation. The Australasian barnacle, Elminius modestus, is one such immigrant species and this now thrives on sheltered rocky shores throughout Britain, often at the expense of native barnacles.

Changes in temperature, light and nutrient levels may also be important determinants of seasonal succession. Zooplankton communities in temperate-boreal waters are initially dominated by calanoid copepods which graze on the abundant diatoms. Meroplanktonic forms appear in late spring and early summer. Predatory species become abundant in summer and feed extensively on the herbivores. 4) suggesting that herbivorous grazing contributes to the decline of the phytoplankton bloom. In some areas, however, nutrient limitation is also important and the precipitous decline in the spring diatom bloom is therefore probably due to the combined effects of grazing and depletion of nutrients as these become locked away with the spring stabilization of the water column.

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