As mentioned previously, there is a gradation in shore type from rock through pebble and sand to mud, although mixed shores of sand or mud with rocky outcrops are common. The characteristics of the flora and fauna of hard (rocky) shores has already been discussed in detail. We
now turn our attention to the other shore types, which are characterized by their relative instability. They are composed of particles of various sizes ranging from pebbles through coarse sands, fine sands to muds (silt and clay). In this chapter we shall consider the ways in which soft
shores are formed, their physical and chemical characteristics, the nature of the communities found in the various shore types, and their dynamic functioning.