Inter-tidal zones – a varied habitat of extremes

WelkCoastal intertidal zones provide a varied habitat of extremes: amazing animals and plants that have adapted and evolved to combat the pounding waves; desiccation at low tide; changes in salinity and temperature in the estuaries and rock pools.

The intertidal region is an important model system for the study of ecology. The region contains a high diversity of species, and the zonation created by the tides causes species ranges to be compressed into very narrow bands. This makes it relatively simple to study species across their entire cross-shore range, something that can be extremely difficult in terrestrial habitats that can stretch thousands of kilometres.