Sublittoral


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Related to Sublittoral: supralittoral, Sublittoral zone

Sublittoral

 

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.

N. G. VINOGRADOVA

References in periodicals archive ?
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.
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.
Transects extended from the supralittoral to the sublittoral zones to allow all macroalgac present to be sampled.
Ecological reconnaissance of the Easter Island sublittoral marine environment.
It is usually a sublittoral species of polyhaline or euryhaline conditions, and is considered to be of little direct economic importance to man (Comely 1978), although in Norway, horse mussel meats have been used as bait for commercial long lining of cod (Wiborg 1946).