Height: Width of Limpets Across Different Zones on an Exposed Shore

2062 Words Nov 15th, 2012 9 Pages
Rocky Shore Ecology: Holbeck Beach

This study was conducted to deduce whether the height to width ratio of limpets altered across the three main zones on the shore: upper, middle and lower. It was carried out on Holbeck Beach, North Yorkshire, where limpets were measured in all three zones using random sampling. We found a significant difference in the height to width ratio between the upper and lower shore and upper and middle shore. This is due to many factors, including the threat of desiccation and strong waves.

Limpet Patelle Vulgata Rocky Shore Ecology Holbeck Beach Upper Shore Middle Shore Lower Shore Callipers
Quadrent Random Sample Desiccation

INTRODUCTION

Common limpets, Patella Vulgata, are found, on
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[7]

The upper zone, also known as the high tide zone, does not have enough water to sustain large amounts of vegetation.[8] The predominant organisms are anemones, barnacles, hermit crabs and limpets. The rock pools in this area are inhabited by large seaweed and small fish.

The middle shore, or middle tide zone, is submerged by water for approximately half of the cycle. This means that there is the capability to support much more marine vegetation, specifically seaweeds. The organisms found there are more complex and larger in size than further up the shore.[9] The rock pools can provide a suitable habitat for small fish, sea urchins, shrimps and zoo plankton. This area is more diversified than the upper shore.

The lower shore, or low tide zone, is mostly submerged underwater. The most noticeable difference of this sub-region is the large diversity of different types of seaweeds. Organisms found in this zone are generally less adapted to periods of dryness. The creatures are generally the largest and most complex organisms on the shore as there are more sources of food as marine vegetation flourishes.

The way that we sampled was random, meaning that every point is equally likely to be selected, and selection of one point does not change the probability of including any other point.[10]

Once we had deduced the