Rocky Shore Study

The Rocky Shore Study is conducted at or close to low tide on a rock platform. There is a huge variety of plant and animal species so each group of 5-6 students is supplied with a 4-page colour, identification guide. They are also equipped with 50m measuring tapes to assist in conducting transects of the rock platform. They have 1.2m rulers to measure height differentials between low and high tide and to map the profile contour of their particular study site. Thermometers are used to measure water temperatures in the rock pools and in the open water. Salinities are also measured in coastal waters and in rock pools. Each group is required to sketch their own particular transect in lateral view, noting height above sea level at various points. One rock pool is sketched separately and the main flora and fauna within the pool are recorded and counted. Students discuss the terms vertical zonation, biological niche, desiccation, community, mean low tide, mean high tide and littoral zone. Finally students construct a food-web involving the species of marine life they encounter in the rock pool.


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