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What sight is more beautiful than a high-energy beach facing lines of rolling white breakers? What battleground is more ferocious than where waves and sand meet? What environment could be more exciting to study than this sandy interface between sea and land? And yet how much do we know about sandy beaches? Open sandy beaches are amongst the most neglected fields of scientific study in the coastal environment. This situation exists despite their great extent along most temperate and tropical coastlines and their value as recreational areas and buffer zones against the sea. The traditional oceanographer does not venture into the surf zone while the terrestrial ecologist stops short at the high water mark. Only a few coastal engineers have grappled with the problem of sand and sediment movement as it influences their construction of harbours and pipelines. The marine biologist on the other hand has regarded estuaries, coral reefs and rocky shores, obviously teeming with life, as more fruitful areas for study than the apparently poor animal life on sandy beaches. Sandy beaches have therefore tended to become a scientific no man's land. Over the last decade this situation has begun to improve. Recent work on high-energy beaches has revealed that they may in fact be rich and productive and fertile areas for study. It has even been suggested that beaches and their adjacent surf zones may constitute viable marine ecosystems.
One: Physical Aspects.- 1. Physical aspects of sandy beaches - a review.- 2. Sediment reworking on sandy beaches.- 3. Beach changes on coasts with different wave climates.- 4. Provenance of beach sediments in south-eastern Australia.- 5. Properties of logarithmic spiral beaches with particular reference to Algoa Bay.- 6. Beach and nearshore habitats as a function of internal geometry, primary sedimentary structures and grain size.- 7. Physical variability of sandy beaches.- 8. Sediments and structures in beach-nearshore environments, South East Australia.- 9. A theoretical model of surf-zone circulation and diatom growth.- 10. Holocene coastal development in the NW part of the Netherlands.- 11. Wave-generated water flow through a porous sea bed.- 12. Sedimentary aspects of the Mvumase project.- 13. Physical aspects of sandy beaches - Workshop report.- Two: Chemical Aspects.- 14. The chemistry of sandy beach ecosystems - a review.- 15. Nutrient cycling in sandy beaches.- 16. The effect of meiofauna and bacteria on nutrient cycling in sandy beaches.- 17. Carbon flow and nutrient regeneration from the decomposition of macrophyte debris in a sandy beach microcosm.- 18. The sandy beach area of Kiel Fjord and Kiel Bight (western Baltic Sea) - a structural analysis of a shallow water ecosystem.- 19. Fouling of the sandy beaches of Nahant Bay (Massachusetts, USA) by an abnormal free-living form of the macroalga Pilayella littoralis (Phaeophyta). I Habitat characteristics.- 20. Fouling of the sandy beaches of Nahant Bay (Massachusetts) by an abnormal free-living form of the macroalga PilayeZla littoralis (Phaeophyta) II Population characteristics.- 21. Effects of fresh water and of pollution from a marine oil refinery on the fauna of a sandy beach.- 22. Donax serra and Bullia rhodostoma - possible bio-indicators of trace metal pollution on sandy beaches with particular reference to the south-eastern Cape.- 23. Sandy beaches as ecosystems: chemical aspects - workshop report.- Three: Ecology.- 24. Sandy beach ecology - a review.- 25. The role of phytoplankton in surf ecosystems.- 26. Factors affecting the distribution of organisms in the intertidal zones of sandy beaches.- 27. Dynamic zonation of staphylinoid beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinoidea) on a sandy beach in east Africa.- 28. A preliminary account of the ecology of sandy beaches in southern Brazil.- 29. Selective microhabitat colonization by interstitial meiofauna as a function of grain size.- 30. Two graphical display methods for ecological data matrices.- 31. Ecological characteristics of sandy beaches in the southern California Bight.- 32. Ecology of beach and surf zone mysid shrimps in the eastern Cape, South Africa.- 33. Community structure of intertidal sandy beaches in New South Wales, Australia.- 34. The species area relationship on a sandy beach.- 35. Interaction between coastal plankton and sand mussels along the Cape coast, South Africa.- 36. The impact of surf zone fish communities on faunal assemblages associated with sandy beaches.- 37. Ecological structure and energy requirements of the sandy beach avifauna of southern Africa.- 38. S ubtidal sandy beach trophic structure in the area of Punta Moron, Venezuela.- 39. Food web in the surf zone of an exposed sandy beach along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States.- 40. The ecology of sandy beaches in the eastern Cape, South Africa.- 41. Kelp wrack and the flow of energy through a sandy beach ecosystem.- 42. The fauna associated with kelp stranded on a sandy beach.- 43. Sandy beach ecology - workshop report.- Four: Ecophysiology and Autecology.- 44. The ecophysiology of sandy beach animals - a partial review.- 45. The biology of the genus Donax.- 46. Consumption, assimilation and energy balance in the three-spot swimming crab, Ovalipespunctatus (de Haan)(Crustacea; Brachyura).- 47. Population ecology and biology of Dotilla sulcata (Crustacea, Ocypodidae) typical for sandy beaches of the Red Sea.- 48. Ecology of the sandy beach gastropod Mazatlania aciculate in Quizandal (Carabobo, Venezuela).- 49. Production ecology of Haustorius canadensis (Amphipoda: Haustoriidae) in southern Maine.- 50. Behaviour and physiological responses of a burrowing bivalve to stress.- 51. Some aspects of the ecophysiology of Scaevola thunbergii, a subtropical coastal dune pioneer.- 52. Energetic values in interstitial isopods and amphipods from sandy beaches as a function of body size and season (western Mediterranean).- 53. A synopsis of community respiration studies on exposed sandy beaches.- 54. Sandy beach ecophysiology - workshop report.- Five: Management.- 55. Management of sandy coastlines - report on review and workshop.- 56. Factors influencing beach erosion and accretion: a global review.- 57. Accidental formation and subsequent disappearance of a contaminated beach: a case history of environmental management.- 58. Monitoring beach and dune advancement and vegetation changes 1937-1977 at the farm Twinstreams, Mtunzini, Natal, South Africa.- 59. Management for survival: a review of the plant ecology and protection of the 'Machair' beaches of north-west Scotland.- Six: Abstracts.- 60. Mud accumulation on a microtidal open ocean beach.- 61. Beach and river-mouth processes, Natal coast, South Africa.- 62. Beach barrier sedimentation, Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana.- 63. Bacteria-meiofauna relationships in a subantartic sand beach (Kerguelen).- 64. Community structure of Ichthyoplankton off sandy beaches in Algoa Bay, South Africa.- 65. Features of some sandy estuary systems.- 66. Variation in Sanderling flock size and structure on a southwest Cape sandy beach.- 67. The importance of non-teleost fishes (Elasmobranchs) in the surf zone with special reference to Rhinobatos annulatus.- 68. Artificial sandy beaches and environmental impacts due to dumping of copper mine tailings at Chanaral area, Chile.- 69. Preliminary investigation of surf zone phytoplankton blooms occurring off the Sundays River beach in Algoa Bay.- 70. Factors influencing the discontinuous distribution of the l.ugworm - Arenicola marina (L.) on the beach of the North Sea (Belgium).- 71. Ecophysiologycal aspects of the genus Donax I. Environmental factors correlated with absolute and relative densities.- 72. Ecophysiologycal aspects of the genus Donax II. Filtration rate in Donax denticulatus (L.).- 73. The Gamtoos - an example of beach/estuary interaction.- 74. The implications of resource partitioning for the structure of a sand-beach meiofauna community.- 75. Dune: A geobotanical model of foredune development.- 76. Some aspects of driftsand reclamation in the Republic of South Africa.- 77. The sandy Haifa acre plain as a typical phyto-ecosystem of Israel's coast.