The 32nd European Marine Biology Symposium was held in Lysekil, Sweden on August 16-22, 1997, organised by Kristineberg Marine Research Station. The selected topics were: `Recruitment and colonisation' and `Physical and Chemical Forcing on Marine Biological Systems', partly reflecting the present research interests at Kristineberg. In this volume, recruitment and colonisation processes cover primarily the dynamics of interspecific interactions within assemblages as well as the effects of hydrodynamic variables. Both laboratory and field studies are emphasised. The contribution of papers within the topic `Physical and Chemical Forcing on Marine Biological Systems' deals with structuring effects of, for example, tides, temperatures, nutrients and hypoxia on the physiology and ecology of marine organisms. The book covers many aspects of marine life. It is our hope that the selected topics will fascinate readers and be of wide interest to students and researchers in marine biology.