AskDefine | Define sublittoral

Dictionary Definition

sublittoral adj : of or relating to the region of the continental shelf (between the seashore and the edge of the continental shelf) or the marine organisms situated there

Extensive Definition

Sublittoral comes from the Latin words "Sub" (Under) and "Littora" (Beach), referring to that part of the Earth's surface immediately below the intertidal zone and thus permanently covered with seawater.
This zone is above the infralittoral zone and is separated into three zones.
This benthic zone is much more stable than the intertidal zone: temperature, water pressure, and the amount of sunlight remain fairly constant. Coral do not have to deal with as much change as intertidal zone organisms. They can live in both the intertidal zone and sublittoral zone. However they are more common in the sublittoral zone.
Although the sublittoral zone extends 200 m below sea level, plants and most animals stay in the upper 100 m, where sunlight reaches the ocean floor.
sublittoral in Estonian: Sublitoraal
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