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Intertidal rocky reefs

Rocky reefs that are exposed at low tide are great places to explore as there are many animals and several plants that can survive out of the water for some time. These rocky shore communities are quite variable across Victoria. Intertidal communities differ depending on the level of exposure to waves, the rock type and its weathering, the presence of rockpools, crevices, and boulders, and the presence or absence of predators.

Animals found on rocky reefs include Shore crabs (Paragrapsus quadridentatus), Common Seastar (Meridiastra calcar), Blue Periwinkle (Nodolittorina unifasciata) and Smooth Limpet (Cellana tramoserica). Neptune’s Necklace (Homosira banksii) is a common plant found in this habitat.

Key Threats

  • Removal of animals and plants
  • Marine pests such as the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis) or the Japanese Kelp (Undaria pinnatifida)which compete for food or space
  • Trampling of reef plants and animals by visitors
  • Oil and chemical pollution
  • Climate change effects including sea level rise, warming sea surface temperatures, and increasing ocean acidity.

Where to see intertidal rocky reefs

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