Intertidal Teleosts: Life in a Fluctuating Environment

  • R. N. Gibson


Teleost fishes are numerous and diverse and they can be found in a wide range of habitats. Some of these habitats, like caves (see Chapter 17 by Parzefall, this volume) and the deepest parts of the sea, change relatively slowly in their physico-chemical characteristics. Others are subject to marked diurnal and seasonal variation, (see Chapter 14 by Helfman, this volume). In the narrow area between the tidemarks, the situation is further complicated by the ebb and flow of the tides. For fish, unprotected by the thick exoskeleton of many littoral invertebrates, the seashore is a difficult region to occupy, although the rewards of colonisation may be high because there are likely to be few competitors. Naturally, there are also disadvantages, such as the risk of predation by both terrestrial and aquatic predators, regular and possibly rapid changes in environmental conditions and, perhaps most drastic of all for fish, the almost complete removal of their normal locomotory medium for hours at a time.


Intertidal Zone Tide Pool Aquatic Predator Aerial Respiration Open Sand 


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© Tony J. Pitcher 1986

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  • R. N. Gibson

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