South West England intertidal rocky shores surveys (1954-1987)

Data set information

| Query EDMED |     

Data holding centreMarine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 1954 to 1987
Geographical area

Coastline around south west England from Weston-Super- Mare (Bristol Channel) to the Isle of Wight (English Channel)


Macroalgae and seagrass taxonomy-related counts; Macroalgae generic abundance in water bodies; Zoobenthos taxonomic abundance; Zoobenthos taxonomy-related counts; Zoobenthos generic abundance


Benthos samplers; manual biota samplers


A set of approximately 40 stations, extending from Weston-Super-Mare (in the Bristol Channel) around the coast to the Isle of Wight (English Channel) was investigated each spring. About 20 of those in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, were looked at each year from 1954 to 1987. The earlier observations were counts of barnacle abundance, then limpets were added. After the 'Torrey Canyon' spill in 1967 the data set was enlarged to cover other abundant organisms, including seaweeds and mussels, but on an intermittent basis and concentrating on the Cornish stations. The data are held in notebooks, but most of them have been transferred to Database 3/Paradox compatible files on PC. The barnacle data only were transferred to a Lotus 123 compatible spreadsheet, and edited averages are held in main-frame computer files. There is a semi-quantitative baseline for some stations dated 1930. A group of stations, five then four, around Plymouth were surveyed for the barnacles in greater detail each autumn from 1951 to 1987; then one station has been continued to date. There is a baseline survey going back to 1934. One station has been entered onto a PC (Word Processor) and this has been published (Southward 1991).

OriginatorsMarine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Southward, A.J. (1967) Recent changes in abundance of intertidal barnacles in south west England: a possible effect of climatic deterioration., Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK, 47(1): 81-85; Southward, A.J., Butler, E.I. and Pennywick, L. (1975) Recent cyclic changes in climate and in abundance of marine life., Nature 253(5494): 714-717.; Southward, A.J. and Southward, E.C. (1978) Recolonization of rocky shores in Cornwall after use of toxic dispersants to clean-up the 'Torrey Canyon' spill., Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, 35: 682-706.; Southward, A.J. (1991) Forty years of changes in species composition and population density of barnacles on a rocky shore near Plymouth., Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK, 71: 495-513.

OrganisationMarine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
AvailabilityBy negotiation
ContactThe Director

Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Citadel Hill
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 1752 222772
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1051007
Global identifier678
Last revised2009-12-01