Supralittoral Zone

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Supralittoral Zone


the biological zone located just above the high-tide level, at the boundary between the sea and the land. Occasionally covered by water when wind surges occur, the supralittoral zone is sometimes regarded as the upper level of the littoral.

In the supralittoral zone, both marine and land flora and fauna are found. There are few animal species, but the sizes of the populations may be very large. Certain flowering plants, lichens, and algae are characteristic of the zone. Insects inhabit material washed up by the sea, and marine worms, mollusks, and crustaceans live in the wet ground. Sand hoppers and crabs, including hermit crabs, are capable of leaving the supralittoral zone for long times and traveling considerable distances inland. Also associated with the zone are sea turtles, such fish as climbing perch and mudskippers, and such pinnipeds as walrus and seals, including elephant seals. Terrestrial vertebrates and birds find food in the supralittoral zone.

The supralittoral zone is most extensively developed in the temperate latitudes. In the polar regions and the tropics, the animal world of the supralittoral zone is limited by ice cover or insolation.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Grids consisted of 54 trap stations, with six parallel transects originating in the supralittoral zone and extending inland perpendicular to the shore for 200 m.
merriami were captured in traps in the supralittoral zone, C.
This separates the sublittoral zone, which is always covered by water, from the littoral zone, which continues up to the supralittoral zone, which begins at the level the water never reaches.
The beach area was divided into four adjacent quadrats of 250 square meters, each with two contiguous vertical zones--a three-meter-wide midlittoral zone and a one-meter-wide supralittoral zone. The midlittoral zone was bounded by the mean high- and low-water marks.
About 15 km of the beach was covered by an accumulation of empty shell, particularly on the supralittoral zone (Fig.
The species was not registered in the supralittoral zone, while in the infralittoral zone it was observed to a depth of 3 m.
Although it is known that many of the species that inhabit supralittoral zones carry out seasonal vertical migrations, moving downshore toward the water during reproduction to spawn, as in genus Echmolittorina (Mileikovsky 1975), little is known about the larval ecology of Echmolittorina lineolata (Bueno et al.
Although coastal wolves will supplement their diets with marine mammal carcasses and other foods occurring in supralittoral zones, the contributions of these foods to the annual nutritional budgets of coastal wolves are currently unknown.