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Zonation Coursework Conclusion The seashore is a habitat that contains a wide range of microhabitats and ecological niches for different creatures This is mainly due to the effects of the tides that rise and fall twice each day Tides are the vertical movement of water in a periodical oscillation of the sea due to the gravitational pull of the sun and moon The tides are on a semi-diurnal cycle so there are two high tides and two low tides each day Due to the orbit of the moon the tides also have a monthly cycle This creates neap very low and spring very high tides The seashore can be divided into several zones which are illustrated on the diagram below Key EHWS Extreme High Water Spring MHWS Mean High Water Spring MHWN Mean High Water Neap MTL Mid Tide Level MLWN Mean Low Water Neap ELWS Extreme Low Water Spring MLWS Mean Low Water Spring CD Chart datum The Supralittoral Zone This is the highest zone on the shore and lies above the EHWS mark and therefore is never covered by seawater However it may be occasionally be spray wetted Because of this it is mainly inhabited by terrestrial species such as lichen that can live in areas of very high salinity The Littoral Intertidal Zone This zone is the area that is covered and uncovered by the tides and therefore organisms that live here must be able to tolerate a large range of conditions It can be further divided into the Littoral Fringe and the Eulittoral zone
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