Populations of the seashore face a number of special difficulties. The most obvious problem is how to cope with continuous alternate submergence by water and exposure to air. There are usually additional difficulties caused by the breaking power of waves. In the shallow water along the coast the physical and chemical conditions are less stable than in deep water; in particular, there are wider and more rapid changes of temperature, and fluctuations of salinity associated with evaporation, or fresh water dilution. Often the inshore water is also very turbid because quantities of suspended matter are churned up from the bottom by waves or carried into the sea by rivers.
On most shores the ecological conditions are dominated by the tides and the waves.
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