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Rocky Shore Study

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Rocky Shore Study Aim The aim of this investigation is to find where the lower, middle and upper zones on the rocky shore start and end by looking at the species present and absent in each zone. Apparatus 0.5m2 frame quadrat 2 marking poles Tape measure Method This investigation will be conducted when the tide is low on the rocky shore at Scarborough. In order to record a sample of the species along the rocky shore, an interrupted belt transect will be used to ensure the sample is representative of the whole population and so that the method is not too time consuming. A tape measure will be stretched on the ground from the low water mark to the high water mark. A marking pole will then be erected by the low tide mark. A 0.5m2 frame quadrat will be placed next to the marking pole and all the species within the quadrat will be identified and their abundance recorded. Another marking pole will be placed 5m up-shore from the first marking pole and another 5m2 frame quadrat will be placed next to the it and the species along with their abundance will be recorded. This process will be repeated until 85m of the rocky shore has been covered. ...read more.


It also reduces colonisation by epiphytic organisms. Fucus Vesiculosus is not found on the lower shore for many reasons. Because it is a plant species, it needs to photosynthesise in order to respire. The photosynthetic pigments present include chlorophylls a and b. These pigments are green but are masked by large quantities of the brown pigment fucoxanthin. Fucoxanthin absorbs blue and green light. Although these wavelengths of light penetrate seawater much more effectively than red and yellow light, they cannot penetrate the water enough for it to be absorbed by the plant. This is because although Fucus Vesiculosus has bladders to provide buoyancy, the constant wave action at the lower shore would keep the fronds submerged in water for most of the day. Also, the air bladders are intolerant to constant and aggressive wave action that occurs on the lower shore. This is also a reason why Fucus Vesiculosus is not found in the splash zone. The results showed that Fucus Vesiculosus is found from 20m from the low tide mark up to 80m. This suggests that the middle shore starts at 20m up-shore from the low tide mark. Fucus Serratus is known to be found on the lower shore. ...read more.


Periwinkles have gills that can absorb air so they can remain out of water for up to one month. Also, fertilised eggs are retained within the body to hatch, and fertilisation is internal. These processes allow reproduction to take place without the need for submersal. Therefore, the upper shore is an ideal habitat for rough periwinkles. As the results show, limpets are found in the upper, middle and lower shores. They have adaptations which allow them to live in any zone on the rocky shore. They adhere to rock surface by suction of muscular foot and chemicals. They rotate their shell to grind into the rock for a closer fit. At high tide, foot clamps shell onto rock to prevent desiccation. At low tide, they lower their metabolism. These results provide enough information to estimate where the three zones on the rocky shore begin and end. By looking at the presence and absence of the organisms found, it suggests that the lower shore starts at the low tide mark and finishes 20m away from this mark. The middle shore starts at the 25m mark and ends at the 45m mark. Beyond 45m is the upper shore. This investigation aided the coursework investigation as it highlighted the areas where Fucus Vesiculosus would be found, ie the middle and upper shore. ...read more.

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