The habitats of coastal margins include marshes, estuaries, mud flats, sand dunes, rocky shores, and coastal forests, all of which are influenced by salt spray and the rising and falling of tidal waters. The intertidal gradient from high and dry to continuously submerged strongly affects plants and animals because the physical conditions for life change so dramatically over such a short distance. A number of observations described in this chapter reflect the differences across the intertidal zone.
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