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There is no up-to-date book on estuarine biology, and nothing at all that deals with marine soft shores as well as estuarine ones. This latest addition to the Biology of Habitats series corrects this omission and will complement The biology of rocky shores, by the same author. This book focuses on marine and estuarine soft sediments as complex and essential habitats for an astonishing variety of animals and plants whose lifestyles are intimately bound up with sediment structure. It discusses sediments as habitats first, then takes in turn the ecosystems found on sandy shores, mudflats and seagrass beds, salt marshes and mangrove swamps, and life below the tidemarks. Adaptations of the organisms are fully described, and each chapter ends with a section on techniques. Later chapters discuss estuarine and lagoonal habitats, both of which contain primarily soft sediments, but add further complicating characteristics to those found in the sea. A discussion of estuarine food webs emphasizes the ways in which organisms interact. The book ends with a discussion of the ways in which marine and estuarine soft sediments have been abused by man, and some of the opportunities that have been taken to counteract these abuses.