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Related to Sublittoral: supralittoral, Sublittoral zone



a life zone of the sea floor limited to the continental shelf and characterized by certain flora and fauna. The sublittoral is bounded by the littoral on the landward side and by the deep-sea zone on the seaward side. The seaward boundary may shift. Between the sublittoral and deep-sea zones is a transitional horizon situated at depths varying from 200 to 500–1,000 m in different parts of the ocean; characterized by a mixture of fauna, this zone is called the pseudoabyssal, profundal, and archi-benthic by different authors. The sublittoral is often bounded only by the zone of distribution of benthic plants at depths of 40–150 m. The width of the sublittoral depends on the width of the continental shelf and ranges from a few kilometers to hundreds of kilometers.

The sublittoral, biologically the most productive zone of the sea, has an extraordinarily abundant and diverse population capable of generating hundreds and thousands of grams of living matter per square meter. Significant numbers of aquatic plants, especially flowering plants, as well as corals (in the tropics), are usually limited to the upper horizon of the sublittoral. Animals predominate at greater depths; echinoderms, mollusks, worms, and crustaceans are especially numerous. The major commercial supplies of marine benthic fish, invertebrates, and plants are concentrated in the sublittoral.


References in periodicals archive ?
Marine anomurans (Decapoda) from the nonconsolidated sublittoral bottom at the southeastern coast of Brazil.
From sublittoral habitats, we studied the asymmetrical barnacle Verruca stroemia (Verrucomorpha) and the pedunculated species Scalpellum scalpellum.
The first dinosaur fossil found in the sublittoral beds of Albaina is a fragmentary ornithopod femur, which can be interpreted as the result of the passive transport of a floating carcasse from the mainland.
The Boulder Patch is entirely sublittoral (4-7 m) and mostly free of extreme ice abrasion owing to shelter of low relief by offshore islands.
In Puerto Rico, its vertical distribution is rather wide, from the littoral to the sublittoral, associated with two other red algae, Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis and G.
Beyond the rampart, the reef slopes into sublittoral fore-reef and back-reef zones featuring hard corals, soft corals, hydroids, bryozoans and macroalgae, such as Sargassum.
Gandra, "Seasonal variability on the structure of sublittoral macrozoobenthic association in the Patos Lagoon estuary, southern Brazil," Iheringia, vol.
However, Reunion has a steeply shelving sublittoral zone and dead specimens of typically shallowwater species are frequently found at greater depths.
Multiple controls of community structure and dynamics in a sublittoral marine environment.
2010: Identifying keystone predators and the importance of preservinkg functional diversity in sublittoral rocky-botton areas.--Marine Ecology Progress Series 413: 55-67.