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Outer Hebrides Life on the Shore

The coastline is predominantly rocky, with extensive sandy beaches, on the Atlantic west coast. Much of this area is very exposed and subject to strong wave action.

On many of these rocky shores there is a distinct vertical zonation which is defined by length of time they are exposed at low tide. The more exposed upper regions of the shore are species poor, but lower down, where the rocks are only occasionally exposed on the lowest neap tides, the diversity increases. In tidal rock pools the biodiversity tends to be higher.

The beaches on the Atlantic coast are also exposed to strong wave action and comprise clean, relatively coarse-grained sand. The Intertidal sediments support communities that are tolerant of exposure to air and variable temperatures and salinities; they are often low in species diversity but can be highly productive.

 

Thong weed