Descriptions of rocky shores and speculation about the causes of vertical zonation go back more than 195 years. Before the 1960s, ecologists had published descriptions of intertidal areas from more than a dozen large geographical regions that spanned much of the globe and included both sides of the North Pacific and North Atlantic; Greenland; the West Indies; South and Central America; the coasts of Africa; the Mediterranean; the Black Sea; Indian Ocean Islands; Singapore; Pacific Islands, Australia, and Tazmania. These early accounts of the rocky intertidal remain a potentially valuable source for comparison to contemporary patterns of species distributions due to local species extinctions and introductions.
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