Pattern and meaning are related in an organized way.

Any pattern is a recognizable association among elements and features that convey meaning to observers. Some examples of meaningful patterns & associated ideas are:

Recognizing patterns along the seashore, like any place requires some order or organization to examing what you see.

  1. Rocky shores
  2. Sand Beaches
  3. Coral Reefs

What is important about where we find identifying elements or living features ?

Perceiving is also, often, deceiving!


Some people see individual items, some see functional relations, others see edges, not all people recognize, however, the meaningful patterns of existence as say Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, or E. O. Wilson do.


functional relations

3dIn order to see how biology and landscape exhibit a pattern that reveals important information for protecting human health, the life of shore creatures and even the populations of shellfish, fisheries, whales and other marine mammals far from the shore, organization is necessary.

ecology and evolution



Depth perception

All are processes that contribute to a deeper view and more informative perception of what exists in the landscape, seascape or cityscape.

In addition to cosmic as opposed to habitat-related conditions that are found along the shore, the seashore is distinguished from all other shores or edges by the presence of:

    1. Currents
    2. Tides
    3. Zones
    4. Nutrition: food chain versus food web (productivity)
    5. biocenose (productive unit of associated plants, animals, fungi, bacteria)
      1. tide pools, are microcosms of the life of teh seashore.
      2. kelp beds, are "algal jungles of the sea"
    6. adaptations, of life to the seashore's conditions
      1. to inorganic
      2. to organic situation
        1. production
        2. predation
        3. competition for space, food, mates
    7. reproduction (Elephant Seal Rookery)
      1. big egg versus small egg gambit
      2. k-strategy versus r-strategy organisms
    8. Succession
      1. plants -- r-strategy organisms replaced by k-strategists
      2. animals --
    9. Evo-devo: evolutionary and developmental biology
    10. climate
    11. tectonics (geological movement of the Earth's surface over millions of years)
    12. Sea level changes

Contributing factors

Every place is a set of conditions or a situation in which factors --some more and some less important elements-- create a distinct and separate milieu from places with other elements and features. By this we mean there are differences among:

landscape, cityscape, seascape

In nature we say that there are habitats that, because of their inorganic and organic conditions of existence engender different communities of bacteria, fungus, plants and animals. We call these places --once called plant associations and now described as-- primary ecological communities:

Examples of the affects of water on vegetative associations or primary ecological communities:

  land marine freshwater seashore
kelp beds
alkali flats
open water
thermal pool
open water
ice sheets




Crucial versus incidental details:

What makes something crucial or necessary for any pattern or functional relationship to produce an outcome?

Remove an item, feature, or element from the pattern or grouping of associated things. If it changes the very character of the whole, then it is crucial.

If, however, when an item is removed and the distinguishing characteristic of the whole remains identifiable, then it is incidental.

Removing water from the landscape changes many things and is thus a crucial element in any association of living things.

Ecological laws contribute to a definitive concept of crucial being defined by the interaction of the water, energy, air & land that comprises any location.

Does the quality, not just the quantity of existing water matter?


Salt water is necessary for a marine seashore whereas freshwater characterizes the seashores of the Caspian or Black seas. Sea, normally means a smaller body of ocean water--hence marine; but it is a reltive term for any huge body of water larger than a immense lake.

The puzzling problems involved in patterns of seashore life and conservation:

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