Rocky shores as tractable test systems for experimental ecology

Hawkins, Stephen J., Pack, Kathryn E., Hyder, Kieran ORCID:, Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro and Jenkins, Stuart R. (2020) Rocky shores as tractable test systems for experimental ecology. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 100 (7). pp. 1017-1041. ISSN 0025-3154

Full text not available from this repository.


Rocky shore ecology has been studied for a long time, starting with qualitative descriptions and becoming more quantitative and experimental over time. Some of the earliest manipulative experimental ecological studies were undertaken on rocky shores. Many, over time, have made considerable contributions to ecological theory, especially highlighting the importance of biological interactions at the community level. The suitability of rocky shores as convenient test systems for ecological experimentation is outlined. Here we consider contributions from rocky shores to the emerging concepts of supply-side ecology, the roles of competition, predation and grazing, disturbance and succession and positive interactions in structuring communities along environmental gradients. We then address alternative stable states, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and bottom-up and top-down control of ecosystems. We briefly consider the feedback and synergies between ecological concepts and experimental work on rocky shores, whilst still emphasizing the traditional values of marine natural history upheld in JMBA since its first publication. The importance of rigorous experimental designs championed by Underwood and co-workers is emphasized. Recent progress taking advantage of new technologies and emerging approaches is considered. We illustrate how experimental studies have shown the importance of biological interactions in modulating species and assemblage-level responses to climate change and informed conservation and management of coastal ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: SJH, LBC, SRJ, KH wish to thank the European-funded project EUROROCK which enabled us to all work together in such a fruitful and fun way, and was an important step in all our careers. EUROROCK was shaped by advice from Tony Underwood in its conception, experimental designs and reinforced by training received by the team from him and Gee Chapman. Eurorock's co-ordinator Guido Chelazzi herded cats well. SJH would also like to thank all his PhD students and Post-doc Fellows hosted, especially Richard Thompson, Nova Mieszkowska, Louise Firth, Mike Burrows, Mark Johnson, Ross Coleman, Tasman Crowe, Paula Moschella, Ally Evans who have helped him do much work and have been great fun on the shore and pub over the years. SJH would like to thank the Marine Biological Association of the UK for hosting his NERC-funded post-doc in 1979–1980 and providing lab space on subsequent visits from Manchester, Port Erin, Southampton, Bangor, allowing him to be Director from 1999 to 2007 and according him the privilege of a Lankester Research Fellowship as an Emeritus from Southampton – plus an office. SJH has a large personal and professional debt to Richard Hartnoll who helped get him a NERC studentship on experimental ecology and spotted the value of such an approach and helped finish many things off and get them published. George Russell always took an interest and introduced him to limpet-algal interactions on a field course in 1975. Alan Southward was a great inspiration and mentor for nearly 40 years – we dedicate this review to him – and we are sure he would have had some trenchant criticisms (‘too much theory and jargon’). SJH, SRJ and KH all benefitted from the unique atmosphere at Port Erin Marine Laboratory/Marine Biological Station (RIP). Over the years SJH has received a personal appeal NERC studentship, personal Post-doc Fellowship, and many grants and studentships from NERC, plus NERC grant-in-aid to the MBA (1999–2007). SRJ similarly received a NERC studentship and has been subsequently funded by them including grants, studentships and held a NERC grant-in-aid funded Fellowship at the MBA. We all thank Jane Lewis for this invitation to write this review and her patience. The review has benefitted from expert input from two referees: David Schiel and George Branch who contributed much to improving it. Publisher Copyright: Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2020.
Uncontrolled Keywords: biological interactions,experimental test systems,rocky shores,aquatic science,sdg 13 - climate action,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1104
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2023 03:21
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 03:07
DOI: 10.1017/S0025315420001046

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item