Natural History and Ecology
Mark D. Bertness
Atlantic Shorelines is an introduction to the natural history and ecology of shoreline communities on the East Coast of North America. Writing for a broad audience, Mark Bertness examines how distinctive communities of plants and animals are generated on rocky shores and in salt marshes, mangroves, and soft sediment beaches on Atlantic shorelines.
The book provides a comprehensive background for understanding the basic principles of intertidal ecology and the unique conditions faced by intertidal organisms. It describes the history of the Atlantic Coast, tides, and near-shore oceanographic processes that influence shoreline organisms; explains primary production in shoreline systems, intertidal food webs, and the way intertidal organisms survive; sets out the unusual reproductive challenges of living in an intertidal habitat, and the role of recruitment in shaping intertidal communities; and outlines how biological processes like competition, predation, facilitation, and ecosystem engineering generate the spatial structure of intertidal communities.
The last part of the book focuses on the ecology of the three main shoreline habitats--rocky shores, soft sediment beaches, and shorelines vegetated with salt marsh plants and mangroves--and discusses in detail conservation issues associated with each of them.Mark D. Bertness is Robert P. Brown Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University.