, Volume 440, Issue 1–3, pp 3–17 | Cite as

Thoughts on the ecology and evolution of the intertidal biota of the Azores and other Atlantic islands

  • S.J. Hawkins
  • H.B.S.M. Corte-Real
  • F.G. Pannacciulli
  • L.C. Weber
  • J.D.D. Bishop


The special features of the intertidal ecosystems of remote islands are reviewed briefly before focusing on the littoral zone of Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira and Canaries). Distribution patterns are briefly compared with other European shores. Species missing from the Azores compared with Madeira, the Canaries and continental European shores are listed. The degree of genetic differentiation within and amongst selected important species of gastropods (Patella spp.) and barnacles (Chthamalus spp.) in Macaronesia is reviewed. The role of isolated islands in allopatric speciation of these organisms is discussed in relation to dispersal. Possible threats to the populations and communities of rocky shores in Macaronesia are considered in the context of the endemic nature of certain species. The importance of studies of basic ecology and genetics to inform resource management and conservation is highlighted. Future research directions are indicated, emphasizing the usefulness of Macaronesia as a model system to explore speciation in intertidal organisms.

islands Macaronesia speciation ecology Patella Chthamalus intertidal 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arruda, L. M., 1997. Checklist of the marine fishes of the Azores. Arquivos do Museu Bocage, Nova Série 3: 13–164.Google Scholar
  2. Azevedo, J. M. M., M. R. Portugal Ferreira & J. A. Martins, 1991. The emergent volcanism of Flores Island, Azores, Portugal. Arquipélago, Life and Earth Sciences 9: 37–46.Google Scholar
  3. Azevedo, J. M. N. & P. C. Heemstra, 1995. New records of fishes from the Azores. Arquipélago, Life and Marine Sciences 13A: 1–10.Google Scholar
  4. Backeljau, T., K. Breugelmans, C. Brito, L. de Bruyn, H. de Wolf & J.-M. Timmermans, 1995. Macrogeographic genetic homogeniety in Littorina striata from the Azores (Mollusca: Prosobranchia). Açoreana, suppl: 159–171.Google Scholar
  5. Boury-Esnault, N. & M. T. Lopes, 1985. Les démosponges littorales de l'archipel des Açores. Ann. Inst. Oceanogr, Paris, n.s. 61: 149–225.Google Scholar
  6. Briggs, J. C., 1966. Oceanic islands, endemism and marine paleotemperatures. Syst. Zool. 15: 153–163.Google Scholar
  7. Briggs, J. C., 1970. A faunal history of the north Atlantic Ocean. Syst. Zool. 19: 19–34.Google Scholar
  8. Briggs, J. C., 1974. Marine Zoogeography. McGraw-Hill, New York, 475 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Brito, A., 1984. In Aránega J. J. B. & L. Santana (eds), Fauna (Marina y Terrestre) Del Archipielago Canario. Edirca, Islas Canarias: 27–41.Google Scholar
  10. Brito, A., I. J. Lozano, J. M. Falcon, F. M. Rodriguez & J. Mena, 1996. Biogeographic analysis of the ichthyofauna of the Canary Islands. In Llinas O., J. A. Gonzalez & M. J. Rueda (eds), Oceanography and Marine Resources in the Eastern Central Atlantic.Google Scholar
  11. Burrows, M. T., 1988. The comparative biology of Chthamalus stellatus (Poli) and Chthamalus montagui Southward. Ph.D Thesis. Faculty of Science, University of Manchester, Manchester.Google Scholar
  12. Christiaens, J., 1973. Revision de genre Patella (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Bull. Mus. natn. Hist., Paris 182: 1305–1392.Google Scholar
  13. Chapman, G., 1954. Aspects of the fauna and flora of the Azores I. Introduction and notes on the littoral conditions. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist., Series 12, 7: 673–677.Google Scholar
  14. Chapman, G., 1955. Aspects of the fauna and flora of the Azores VI. The density of animal life in the coralline algae zone. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. Series 12, 8: 801–805.Google Scholar
  15. Charcot, J. B., 1921. Sur une expédition du Pourquoi-Pas? à Rockall. Compte rendu hebdomadaire des séances de l'Académie de sciences 173: 290–292.Google Scholar
  16. Cornelius, P. F. S., 1992. The Azores hydroid fauna and its origin, with discussion of rafting and medusa suppression. Arquipélago, Life and Earth Sciences 10: 75–99.Google Scholar
  17. Côrte-Real, H. B. S.M., 1992. Taxonomy and population genetics of exploited species of Patella in the Azores, Madeira and Canaries. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Liverpool.Google Scholar
  18. Côrte-Real, H. B. S.M., S. J. Hawkins & J. P. Thorpe, 1992. Genetic confirmation that intertidal and subtidal morphs of Patella ulyssiponensis aspera Röding (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Patellidae) are conspecific. Arquipélago, Life and Earth Sciences 10: 55–66.Google Scholar
  19. Côrte-Real, H. B. S. M., S. J. Hawkins & J. P. Thorpe, 1996a. An interpretation of the taxonomic relationships between the limpets Patella rustica and P. piperata. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 76: 717–732.Google Scholar
  20. Côrte-Real, H. B. S. M., S. J. Hawkins & J. P. Thorpe, 1996b. Population differentiation and taxonomic status of the exploited limpet Patella candei in the Macaronesian islands (Azores, Madeira, Canarias). Mar. Biol.125: 141–152.Google Scholar
  21. Crisp, D. J., 1956. The intertidal zoology of Rockall. In: Fisher, J. (eds), Rockall G. Bles, London: 177–170.Google Scholar
  22. Crisp, D. J. & A. J. Southward, 1958. The distribution of intertidal organisms along the coasts of the English Channel. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 37: 1037–1048.Google Scholar
  23. Crisp, D. J., A. J. Southward & E. C. Southward, 1981. On the distribution of the intertidal barnacles Chthamalus stellatus, Chthamalus montagui and Euraphia depressa. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 61: 359–380.Google Scholar
  24. Dando, P. R. & Southward, 1981. Existence of Atlantic and Mediterranean forms of Chthamalus montagui (Crustacea, Cirrepedia) in the Western Mediterranean. Mar Biol. Lett 2: 239–248.Google Scholar
  25. Darwin, C., 1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Murray. London.Google Scholar
  26. de Weerdt, W. H. 1989. Phylogeny and vicariance biogeography of the north Atlantic Chalinidae (Haplosclerida, Demospongiae). Beaufortia 39: 55–88Google Scholar
  27. Fischer-Piette, E., 1935. Systématique et biogéographie-les patelles d'Europe et d'Afrique du nord. J. Conchyl. 79: 5–66.Google Scholar
  28. Feldmann, J., 1946. La Flore marine des iles atlantides. Mémoires de la Société de Biogéographie 28: 395–435.Google Scholar
  29. Fralick, R. A. & F. Andrade, 1981. The growth, reproduction, harvesting and management of Pterocladia pinnata (Rhodophyceae) in the Azores, Portugal. In Levring, T. (eds), Proceedings of the Tenth International Seaweed Symposium, Goteborg (Sweden), 1980. Walter de Gruyter: 289–295.Google Scholar
  30. Fralick, R. A. & E. J. Hehre, 1990. Observations on the marine algal flora of the Azores II: an annotated checklist of the Chlorophycota from the Azores. Arquipélago, Life and Earth Sciences 8: 11–17.Google Scholar
  31. Fredericq, S., E. Serrão & J. Norris, 1992. New records of marine red algae from the Azores. Archipelago, Life and Earth Sciences 10: 1–4.Google Scholar
  32. Hawkins, S. J., L. P. Burnay, A. I. Neto, R. Tristào da Cunha & A. M. F. Martins, 1990a. A description of the zonation patterns of molluscs and other biota on the south coast of São Miguel, Azores. In Martins, A. M. F. (eds), Proceedings of the First International Workshop of Malacology andMarine Biology, Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel, Azores, 1988. Açoreana, Suplemento (2), Outubro de 1990: 21–38.Google Scholar
  33. Hawkins, S. J., H. B. S. M. Côrte-Real, H. Rost Martins, R. S. Santos & A. M. F. Martins, 1990b. A note on the identity of Patella in the Azores. In Martins, A. M. F. (ed.), Proceedings of the First International Workshop of Malacology and Marine Biology, Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel, Azores, 1988. Açoreana, Suplemento (2), Outubro de 1990: 167–173.Google Scholar
  34. Hawkins, S. J. & R. G. Hartnoll, 1983. Grazing of intertidal algae by marine invertebrates. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 21: 195–282.Google Scholar
  35. Hawkins, S. J. & K. Hiscock, 1983. Anomalies in the abundance of common eulittoral gastropods with planktonic larvae on Lundy Island, Bristol Channel. J. moll. Stud. 49: 86–88.Google Scholar
  36. Hawkins, S. J., R. G. Hartnoll, J. M. Kain, & T. A. Norton, 1992. Plant-animal interactions on hard substrata in the north-east Atlantic. In John, D. M., S. J. Hawkins & J. H. Price (eds), Plant-Animal Interactions in the Marine Benthos. Clarendon Press, Oxford. Systematics Association Special Volume No. 46. 1–32.Google Scholar
  37. Highsmith, R. C., 1985. Floating and larval rafting as potential dispersal mechanisms in brooding invertebrates. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 25: 169–179.Google Scholar
  38. Hodgson, A. N., S. Ridgway, G. M. Branch & S. J. Hawkins, 1996. Spermatozoan morphology of 19 species of prosobranch limpets (Patellogastropoda) with a discussion of patellid relationships. Phil. Trans. r. Soc. B., Lond. 351: 339–347.Google Scholar
  39. Jamieson, G. S., 1993 Marine invertebrate conservation: evaluation of fisheries over-exploitation concerns. Am. Zool. 33: 551–567.Google Scholar
  40. Johannesson, K., 1988. The paradox of Rockall: Why is a brooding gastropod (Littorina saxatilus) more widespread than one having a planktonic larval dispersal stage (L. littorea)? Mar. Biol. 99: 507–513.Google Scholar
  41. Kay, E. A. & S. R. Palumbi, 1987. Endemism and evolution in Hawaiian marine invertebrates. Trends Ecol. Evol. 2: 183–187.Google Scholar
  42. Koufapanou, V., D. G. Reid, S. A. Ridgway & R. H. Thomas, 1999. A molecular phylogeny of the patellid limpets (Gastropoda: Patellidae) and its implications for the origins of their antitropical distribution. Mol. Phylogen. Evol. 11: 138–156.Google Scholar
  43. Lawson, G. W. & T. A. Norton, 1971. Some observations on littoral and sublittoral zonation at Teneriffe (Canary Islands). Bot. Mar. 14: 116–120.Google Scholar
  44. Levitan, D. R. & M. A. Sewell, 1998. Fertilization success in free-spawning marine invertebrates: review of the evidence and fisheries implications. Canadian Special Papers in Fisheries and Aquatic Science 125: 159–164.Google Scholar
  45. Lloris, D., J. Rucabado & H. Figueroa, 1991. Biogeography of the Macaronesian ichthyofauna (The Azores, Madeira, The Canary Islands, Cape Verde and the African enclave). Bol. Mus. Munic. Funchal 43: 191–241.Google Scholar
  46. Lopes, M. F. R., J. C. Marques & D. Bellan-Santini, 1993. The benthic amphipod fauna of the Azores (Portugal): an up-to-date annotated list of species, and some biogeographic considerations. Crustaceana 65: 204–217.Google Scholar
  47. MacArthur, R. H. & E. O. Wilson, 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.Google Scholar
  48. Martins, H. R., R. S. Santos & S. J. Hawkins, 1987. Exploitation of limpets (Patella spp.) in the Azores, with a preliminary analysis of the stocks. ICES, C.M: K53: 1–18.Google Scholar
  49. May, R. M., 1994. Biological diversity: differences between land and sea. Phil. Trans. r. Soc., Lond. B. 343: 105–111.Google Scholar
  50. Mayr, E., 1963. Animal Species and Evolution. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  51. Mayr, E., 1970. Populations, Species and Evolution. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  52. Menezes, G. M. M., 1991. Aspectos da Biologia e ecologia de Patella ullyssiponensis aspera e P. candei candei (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Patellidae) dos Açores. Potencial da sua exploração. Relatório de Estágio da Licenciatura de Recursos Faunísticos e Ambientes. Faculdade de Ciencias de Lisboa. 16Google Scholar
  53. Monniot, C. & F. Monniot, 1983. Navigation ou courants? La colonisation des Açores et des Bermudes par les ascidies (tuniciers benthiques). C.R Soc. Biogéogr. 59: 53–58.Google Scholar
  54. Moore, P. G., 1977. Additions to the littoral fauna of Rockall, with a description of Areolaimus penelope sp. nov. (Nematoda: Axonolaimidae). J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 57: 191–200.Google Scholar
  55. Morton, B., 1967. Malacological Report. In Final Report, Chelsea College Azores Expedition, 1965. London: Chelsea College, University of London: 30–39.Google Scholar
  56. Morton, B., 1990. The intertidal ecology of Ilhéu de Vila Franca-a drowned volcanic crater in the Azores. In Marins, A. M. F. (ed.), Proceedings of the First International Workshop of Malacology and Marine Biology, Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel, Azores, 1988. Açoreana, Suplemento [2], Outubro de 1990: 3–20.Google Scholar
  57. Morton, B., 1995. Coastal conservation in the Azores. Mar. Poll. Bull.30: 430–431.Google Scholar
  58. Morton, B., J. C. Britton & A. M. De Frias Martins, 1998. Coastal Ecology of the Açores. Sociedade Afonso Chaves, Ponta Delgada.Google Scholar
  59. Moss, D., 1992. A summary of the Porifera collected during 'Expedition Azores 1989". Arquipélago, Life and Earth Sciences 10: 45–53.Google Scholar
  60. Nei, M., 1978. Estimation of average heterozygosity and genetic distance from small number of individuals. Genetics 89: 583–590.Google Scholar
  61. Neto, A. I., 1992. Contribution to the taxonomy and ecology of the Azorean benthic marine algae. Biol. J. linn. Soc. 46: 163–176.Google Scholar
  62. Neto, A. I., 1994. Checklist of the benthic marine macroalgae of the Azores. Arquipélago, Life and Earth Sciences 12A: 15–34.Google Scholar
  63. Newman, W. A. & A. Ross, 1977. A living Tesseropora (Cirrepedia, Balanomorpha) from Bermuda and the Azores, first records from the Atlantic since the Oligocene. Transactions of the San Diego society of Natural History 18: 207–218.Google Scholar
  64. Palumbi, S. R., 1992. Marine speciation on a small planet. Trends Ecol. Evol. 7: 114–118.Google Scholar
  65. Palumbi, S. R., 1994. Genetic divergence, reproductive isolation, and marine speciation. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 25: 547–572.Google Scholar
  66. Pannacciulli, F. G., J. D. D. Bishop & S. J. Hawkins, 1997. Genetic structure of populations of two species of Chthamalus (Crustacea: Cirripedia) in the north-east Atlantic and Mediterranean. Mar. Biol. 128: 73–82.Google Scholar
  67. Patzner, R. A., R. S. Santos, P. Ré & R. D. M. Nash, 1992. Littoral fishes of the Azores: an annotated checklist of fishes observed during the 'Expedition Azores 1989'. Arquipélago, Life and Earth Sciences 10: 101–111.Google Scholar
  68. Pingree, R. D., C. Garcio-Soto & B. Sinha, 1999. Position and structure of the subtropical/Azores front region from combined Lagrangian and remote sensing (IR/altimeter/SeaWiFS) measurements. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 79: 769–792.Google Scholar
  69. Powell, A., 1973. The patellid limpets of the world. Indo-Pacific Mollusca 3: 75–99.Google Scholar
  70. Prud'homme Van Reine, W. F., 1988. Phytogeography of seaweeds of the Azores. Biogeography of Marine Benthic Algae 42: 165–185.Google Scholar
  71. Prud'homme Van Reine, W. F., 1990. Biogeography of Macaronesian seaweeds. 8th contribution to Fauna and Flora of the Cape Verde Islands. Results of the 4th symposium. Lobin,W. (ed.), pp. 55–73.Google Scholar
  72. Raffaelli, D. & S. J. Hawkins 1996. Intertidal Ecology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: 356 pp.Google Scholar
  73. Rees, W. J. & E. White, 1966. New records and fauna list of hydroids from the Azores. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. Ser 13, 9: 271–284.Google Scholar
  74. Reid, D. G., 1996. Systematics and Evolution of Littorina. TheRay Society, Andover: 463 pp.Google Scholar
  75. Ridgway, S. A., D. G. Reid, J. D. Taylor, G. M. Branch & A. N. Hodgson, 1998. A cladistic phylogeny of the family Patellidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., Lond. B. 353: 1645–1671.Google Scholar
  76. Sanchez, M. J. P. & E. M. Batet, 1990. Invertebrados Marinos de Canarias. Cabidilo Insular de Gran Canaria.Google Scholar
  77. Santos, R. & P. Duarte, 1991. Marine plant harvest in Portugal. J. appl. Phycol. 3: 11–18.Google Scholar
  78. Santos, R. S., 1992. Protecção e conservação do meio marinho nos Açores. In Saldanha, L., P. Ré & A. F. Martins (eds), Centenaire de la Dernière Campagne Océanographique du Prince Albert de Monaco aux Açores à bord de L'Hirondelle. Açoreana, Suppl: 107–122.Google Scholar
  79. Santos, R. S., F. M. Porteiro & J. P. Barreiros, 1997. Marine fishes of the Azores: an annotated checklist and bibliography. Arquipélago, Life and Marine Sciences, Supplement 1: 244 pp.Google Scholar
  80. Santos, R. S., R. D. M. Nash & S. J. Hawkins, 1994. Fish assemblages on intertidal shores on the island of Faial, Azores. Arquipélago, Life and Marine Sciences 12A: 87–100.Google Scholar
  81. Santos, R. S., S. Hawkins, L. R. Monteiro, M. Alves & E. J. Isidro, 1995. Marine research, resources and conservation in the Azores. Aquat. conserv. Mar. Freshwat. Ecos. 5: 311–354.Google Scholar
  82. Santos, R. S., H. R. Martins & S. J. Hawkins, 1990. Relatório de estudos sobre o estado das populações de lapas do Arcipélago dos Açores e da Ilha da Madeira. Relatório da X Semana das Pescasdos Açores, Universidade dos Açores, Horta, Açores 137–161.Google Scholar
  83. Scheltema, R. S., 1971. Larval dispersal as a means of genetic exchange between geographically separated populations of shoalwater benthic marine gastropods. Biol. Bull. 140: 284–322.Google Scholar
  84. Scheltema, R. S., 1986. On dispersal of benthic invertebrates: An eclectic overview and summary of problems. Bull. mar. Sci. 39: 290–322.Google Scholar
  85. Southward, A. J., 1998. New observations on barnacles (Crustacea: Cirripedia) of the Azores Region. Arquipélago 16A: 11–27.Google Scholar
  86. Southward, A. J., R. S. Burton, S. L. Coles, P. R. Dando, R. DeFelice, J. Hoover, P. E. Parnell, T. Yamaguchi & W. A. Newman 1998. Invasion of Hawiian shores by an Atlantic barnacle. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 165: 119–126.Google Scholar
  87. Southward, A. J. & D. J. Crisp, 1954. The distribution of certain intertidal animals around the Irish coast. Proc. R. Irish Acad. 57B: 1–29.Google Scholar
  88. Spence, S. K., S. J. Hawkins & R. S. Santos, 1990. The mollusc Thais haemastoma-an exhibitor of 'imposex' and potential biological indicator of tributylin pollution. Mar. Ecol. (PSZN) 11: 147–156.Google Scholar
  89. Stephenson, T. A. & A. Stephenson, 1972. Life between tide marks on rocky shores. W.H. Freeman & Company, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  90. Titselaar, F. L. M., 1998. A review of the recent European patellids (Mollusca: Gastropoda). The patellids of the Azores, Madeira, the de Selvagens and the Canary Islands. Vita Marina 45: 21–62.Google Scholar
  91. Tittley, I., P. Moss & A. I. Neto, 1990. Azores Expedition 1989: taxonomy and ecology of the marine littoral, algal studies. In Expedição Açores/89. Ecologia e Taxonomia do Litoral Marinho dos Açores-Relatório Preliminar-Parte II. Departamento de Oceanographia e Pescas, Universidade dos Açores, Horta, Açores.Google Scholar
  92. Tittley, I. & A. I. Neto, 1995. Marine algal flora of the Azores and its biogeographical affinities. Bol. Mus. Mun. Funchal. Suppl: 747–766.Google Scholar
  93. Tsuchiya, M. & C. Retiere, 1992. Zonation of intertidal organisms and community structure of small animals associated with patches of the mussel Mytilus edulis L. along the rocky coast of Dinard, Brittany, France. Bull. Coll. Sci. Univ. Ryukus Ryudai Rigakubu Kiyo. 54: 47–81.Google Scholar
  94. Turner, G. F., 1999. Explosive speciation of African cichlid fishes. In Magurran, A. E. & R. M. May (eds), Evolution of Biological Diversity. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 113–129.Google Scholar
  95. Valentine, J.W. & D. Jablonski, 1983. Speciation in the shallow sea: General patterns and biogeographic controls. Palaeontology 14: 201–226.Google Scholar
  96. Van Den Hoek, C., 1984. World-wide latitudinal and longitudinal seaweed distribution patterns and their possible causes, as illustrated by the distribution of Rhodophytan genera. Helgölander wiss. Meersunters. 38: 227–257.Google Scholar
  97. Van Den Hoek, C., 1987. The possible significance of long-range dispersal for the biogeography of seaweeds. Helgölander wiss. Meersunters. 41: 261–272.Google Scholar
  98. Weber L. I., J. P. Thorpe, R. S. Santos & S. J. Hawkins, 1998. Identification of stocks of the exploited limpets Patella aspera and P. candei at Madeira Archipelago by allozyme electrophoresis. J. Shellfish Res. 17: 945–953.Google Scholar
  99. Wirtz, P., 1996. Underwater Guide Madeira-Canary Islands-Azores: Invertebrates. S. Naglschmid Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  100. Wirtz, P. & H. R. Martins, 1993. Notes on some rare and little known marine invertebrates from the Azores with a discussion of the zoogeography of the region. Arquipélago, Life and Marine Sciences 11A: 55–63.Google Scholar
  101. Young, P. S., 1998. Cirripedia (Crustacea) from the 'Campagne Bioçores' in the Azores region, including a generic revision of the Verrucidae. Zoosystema 20: 32–91.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.J. Hawkins
  • H.B.S.M. Corte-Real
  • F.G. Pannacciulli
  • L.C. Weber
  • J.D.D. Bishop

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations