Environmental Factors Influencing the Distribution of CFTs
It is fairly straightforward to analyse the effects of individual
environmental factors on the CFT species so far as information is available. However, in
determining the composition of a community in a specific location the complex interaction
of physico-chemical variables must be considered - a simple presentation of this in
relation to hard substrata is given in the figure below. The interactions between
depth, slope and suspended matter in determining light availability are particularly
Environmental variables, and their interactions, important in
determining community structure on hard sublittoral substrata (from Hartnoll, 1983).
Various factors are considered. Temperature is of most important on a
geographical scale, whilst the others may vary widely on local scales to have major
influences the distribution of CFT species and biotopes. In the previous section the
significance of water movement as a determining factor was highlighted.
Depth and light
Exposure to water movement
Suspended matter and scour