Hydrobiologia

, 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
Article

Abstract

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 

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© 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

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