Beach Profile Diagrams


Since I’ve started my research, I’ve been fascinated by the way different researchers represent their data.  I am particularly drawn to simple, elegant, and effective diagrams.  I think these kinds of images are not only science, but art.  This one is from Figure 3A from “Synecology of Beach Vegetation Along the Pacific Coast of the United States of America: A First Approximation” published in the Journal of Biogeography vol. 3 no. 1 by Barbour, DeJong, & Johnson (1976).  The smooth graph at the top of each section shows a cross-section of the beach and below it is a histogram of where each species showed up along this profile.  It makes it really easy to see which species tend to occur near the front or back of the beach.  My goal is to produce similar diagrams for my data.  I wonder though how it could be made easier to understand.  What are your thoughts for improving this kind of diagram?

About micheletobias

I lead two lives - one as an artist and the other as a scientist. More and more I'm finding my two worlds colliding, and it's not the disaster you might expect. View all posts by micheletobias

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