Laguna Ocean Foundation

The rocky intertidal zone is the portion of a rocky coastline that is periodically covered or exposed by daily tidal changes. This interface is a complex environment where species are well adapted to the changing habitat conditions.Conditions are more terrestrial higher in the intertidal ecosystem and correspondingly more marine in the lower intertidal area, depending on the amount of exposure the area receives.

This range of environmental conditions influences the species that are able to adapt to changing habitat variables and these environmental conditions are in part responsible for the unique zones within the intertidal habitat that are highly visible by the dominant species that occur in each area or “zone.” These dominant species create stripes that take the color and texture of the dominant or “characteristic” organism of that zone (Niesen 1982).

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