Abiotic Factors


The temperature determines which zone many animals of the rocky shore live in.  The zone an animal lives in depends on the amount of change it can withstand.  Water holds heat much better than air, therefore organisms living in the Sublittoral Zone don't have to endure as many changes as the animals in the Littoral and Midlittoral Zones do.  The animals living at in the upper zones have to tolerate daily swings in these abiotic factors including temperature, which can vary tens of degrees.  The temperature of the animals' surroundings also affects their rate of metabolism.  Very cold conditions will slow it down, whereas very high temperatures may speed it up.            

The sunlight reaches all zones of the rocky shore.  The most sunlight reaches the Littoral Zone.  Another reason there are many animals which live in the Sublittoral Zone is because the light and heat from the sun still reach the bottom, without the dramatic changes that occur both outside and inside the water everyday.  Some examples of these changes include wind, temperature and tides.