Spits and beaches are the most exposed habitats.

Beach

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Spits and beaches are the most exposed habitats. Only a few hardy species can survive the wind, waves, salt spray, moving sand, summer heat, dryness and low food supply. Decomposing seaweeds and animal matter washed up by the tides are major sources of nutrients.

Spits and beaches are the most exposed habitats. Only a few hardy species can survive the wind, waves, salt spray, moving sand, summer heat, dryness and low food supply. Decomposing seaweeds and animal matter washed up by the tides are major sources of nutrients.

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.

Seabeach-sandwort (Honkenya peploides)

Seabeach-sandwort (Honkenya peploides)

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Seabeach-sandwort has fleshy leaves and stems which store water and resist sandblasting. Cacti have similar adaptations.
Seabeach-sandwort has fleshy leaves and stems which store water and resist sandblasting. Cacti have similar adaptations.

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.

Sea rocket - Cakile edentula

Sea rocket - Cakile edentula

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Sea-rocket has seed-pods in two parts to double its chances of reproduction. The top half breaks off and floats to a new site. The bottom half stays attached to the plant and germinates there.

Sea-rocket has seed-pods in two parts to double its chances of reproduction. The top half breaks off and floats to a new site. The bottom half stays attached to the plant and germinates there.

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.

Lake Wallace

Lake Wallace

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


A brackish lake on South Beach, Lake Wallace's inhabitants must tolerate extreme and sudden changes in salt content and temperature. In winter, storm waves flood the lake with salt water, causing it to stretch for 8 km (5 miles). In summer, it shrinks to one kilometre in length.


A brackish lake on South Beach, Lake Wallace's inhabitants must tolerate extreme and sudden changes in salt content and temperature. In winter, storm waves flood the lake with salt water, causing it to stretch for 8 km (5 miles). In summer, it shrinks to one kilometre in length.


© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe the beach habitat on Sable Island and the plants that survive in the harsh environment.

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