The Intertidal Zone of the North-East Atlantic Region: Pattern and Process

Stephen J. Hawkins, Kathryn E. Pack, Louise B. Firth, Nova Mieszkowska, Ally J. Evans, Gustavo M. Martins, Per Åberg, Leoni C. Adams, Francisco Arenas, Diana M. Boaventura, Katrin Bohn, C. G. Debora Borges, João J. Castro, Ross A. Coleman, Tasman P. Crowe, Teresa Cruz, Mark S. Davies, Graham Epstein, João Faria, João G. FerreiraNatalie J. Frost, John N. Griffin, M. E. Hanley, Roger J.H. Herbert, Kieran Hyder, Mark P. Johnson, Fernando P. Lima, Patricia Masterson-Algar, Pippa J. Moore, Paula S. Moschella, Gillian M. Notman, Federica G. Pannacciulli, Pedro A. Ribeiro, Antonio M. Santos, Ana C.F. Silva, Martin W. Skov, Heather Sugden, Maria Vale, Kringpaka Wangkulangkul, Edward J.G. Wort, Richard C. Thompson, Richard G. Hartnoll, Michael T. Burrows, Stuart R. Jenkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

20 Citations (Scopus)


The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host-parasite dynamics are also outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractions in the Marine Benthos
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Patterns and Processes
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9781108235792
ISBN (Print)9781108416085
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2019


  • biogeography
  • distribution
  • ecosystem
  • intertidal
  • pattern and processes
  • range limits
  • rocky shore


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