Impacts of anthropogenic stress on rocky intertidal communities

  • T.P. Crowe
  • R.C. Thompson
  • S. Bray
  • S.J. Hawkins


Rocky shores provide a harsh environment for marine organisms andwe briefly discuss natural sources of variation in community structure beforeconsidering anthropogenic impacts in detail. We review impacts caused by (a) acutedisturbances: oil spills, toxic algal blooms and (b) chronic disturbances: nutrient pollution,oil, heavy metals, pesticides, antifouling paints, collecting, trampling/habitatdegradation, siltation and introduced species. Community level effects are emphasisedthroughout and illustrative examples are drawn from field-based case studies. Particularattention is given to the lessons learned from oil spills and the effect of chronicpollution by tributyltin on dogwhelks, the impacts of which ranged from the biochemical tocommunity levels of organisation. Impacts are placed in a global and historicalperspective and the potential for the recovery of shores under appropriate management isdiscussed. Finally we consider the relative merits of the multivariate and univariateapproaches to studying impacted communities and suggest priorities for future research.

anthropogenic stress community harvesting human impact introduced species pollution rocky shore siltation trampling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • T.P. Crowe
    • 1
  • R.C. Thompson
    • 1
  • S. Bray
    • 2
  • S.J. Hawkins
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Biodiversity and Ecology Division, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonU.K. (corresponding author:
  2. 2.Centre for Environmental SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonHighfield, SouthamptonU.K.

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