by Dr J Floor Anthoni (2001,...)
Why is the seascape so variable? Why does
one place look quite different from another one? Why is it is such a strange
world? Wish to have a look at some strange places and the strange creatures
living there? Click on 'introduction' first, then study the sample marine
South Island: a cool temperate sea, dominated by seaweeds and having
medium species richness.
In order to classify our diverse habitats, I propose the following
classification which groups the habitats regionally, then by depth. We'll
see how it works out in practice. (J F Anthoni) Note that Britain's
marine habitat classification is in this order: substrate =>
level => biological community => special cases
Climate region: From N
to S and from W to E, New Zealand has several distinct climate regions
in the sea
Wave regime: Coasts can be exposed, sheltered
Substrate: Hard rock, soft rock, boulders, pebbles, sand, mud
Depth zone: Physical environmental conditions change rapidly with
depth, leading to habitat zones.
Micro habitat: special cases: caves, archways, rockpools, etc.
Systematic index of New Zealand habitats:
From the combinations of main physical factors, the following habitats
The Kermadec Islands 800Km north
of NZ. Very exposed. No estuaries nor beaches.
East Auckland: From North Cape to East Cape,
a shore with many estuaries and islands.
Rocky shore: clear water for diving.
Littoral zone: A rich community of small animals and plants surviving
Rocky shore: the intertidal rocky shore is rich in specialised marine
Bladderweed zone: The shallow seaweed zone is dominated by tough
bladder weeds. Sleeping here is hell but there's a lot of food for agile
Barren zone: Sea urchins and other grazers keep a vast area of rock
free from algae but there's evidence this zone is created by storms(storm
barrens of NZ).
Kelp forest zone: Dominated by the Stalked Kelp and it extends down
to 18m deep
Deep Reef zone: The deep reef habitat is too deep for the brown
and green seaweeds. Fragile animals such as sponges are found here.
Sponge Garden is a special case of the deep reef zone where flat
reefs are regularly covered in sand.
Shell trap: Shells washed up on a beach and transported by waves
and currents, get trapped in the first outcrops of the rocky shore, providing
abundance of food alternated by periods of famine.
Cave: Caves stop both current and light. Life inside them fades
out soon away from the entrance. Some caves are barren, some not. Some
have blowholes which make a big difference.
Archway: Archways are caves that let the current through.
Promontory: Promontories, jutting out in the current are where many
pelagic fish congregate. Currents also make them deeper.
The titles highlighted in blue are available
from the Seafriends Library. In
this library also look for books about shores elsewhere in the world. Also
look for marine reserve surveys in the chapter on marine
Amos, William: The
life of the seashore (Our living world of nature). 1966.
Ayling, Tony and Geoffrey J
Cox: (2) Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of NZ.1982.1987.
Ballantine, W J: A biologically-defined
exposure scale for the comparative description of rocky shores. 1961.
Field Studies, 1 (3)
Bradstock, Mike: Between
the tides, NZ shore and estuary life.1985.
Collins Nature Heritage Series:
and outlying islands of NZ.1979.
Crisp, D J & Knight-Jones,
E W: Grazing in terrestrial and marine environments. 1964. Blackwell,
Gunson, Dave: Collins
guide to the NZ seashore.1983
Gunson, Dave: A
guide to the NZ shore.1993
Leigh Laboratory Publications
Reserve Survey. (A M Ayling).1978
Mokohinau Islands, a marine survey (Creese & Ballantine).1988
Lewis, J R: The ecology of rocky
shores. 1964. London.
Miller, Michael and Gary Batt:
(2) Reef and Beach life of NZ.1973
in the seventies - the future of NZ shorelines.1973
shore ecology of the Leigh area.1968
NZ Sea Shore (Morton & Miller).1973
History of Auckland.1993.
Newell, R C: Biology of intertidal
animals. 1970. London
Stace, Glenys & Enderby,
Tony and Jenny: What's on the beach? A guide to
coastal marine life. 1997. VIKING-Penguin books.
Walsby, John: Nature
watching at the beach.1990