At its summit sits the most inhospitable zone of all, an impossible place where combers repetitively curl, break, then retreat: the algal ridge.
After nightfall, despite having never done anything of the kind before, they will gather under the humped back of a wave, ride up its powerful rise, then down its thunderous landfall, and surf across the algal ridge.
From underwater they lift, then curl, forming beautiful, mercury-bright cylinders that barrel-roll up the barrier reef toward the algal ridge.
The intertidal wave-resistant algal ridge, by reducing erosional forces (Dawson 1961, Ladd 1961, Nunn 1993), is perhaps the most important part of a biotic reef because the protection it affords permits the development of most other shallow-water reef communities, as well as absorbing wave energy that could erode emergent land masses.
This study establishes the first intimate association between a chiton and a crustose coralline alga and shows the association to be an important component augmenting accretion in shallow Caribbean algal ridges.
pachydermum on settlement plates, restricting it to high energy environments such as algal ridges and reef crests.