Sunday, February 15, 2009
Tidal Pools of Vancouver Island
Tide pools are unique habitats found on rocky areas of the coast. These pools are flooded with water at high tide. The tides bring fresh oxygen and food to the pools twice a day. Between tides, the pools are exposed to the sun, wind and rain, which cause changes in water level, temperature, salinity and oxygen content. On hot summer days, tide pools can completely dry up between tides.
Organisms that live in tide pools must avoid being washed away by tidal waves, keep from drying out in the sunlight of low tide, and avoid being eaten.
Typical inhabitants of tide pools include sea anemones, barnacles, chitons, crabs, isopods, limpets, mussels, starfish, snails, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and whelks.
All organisms that live in tide pools have adaptations that allow them to survive the fluctuating habitat of the tide pool.
Disturbing a tide pool can be hazardous to the organisms living there. Moving a piece of seaweed can expose organisms to the direct sun, and prying organisms that are held fast to the rocks is almost always fatal to the animal.
This example was taken during our visit to Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island.