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Fig. 8.5 An example of how a species can perceive the complexity of the landscape according to different functions involved in tracking resources in space, time and according to resource quality This scheme can be applied also to describe how different species use the environmental context

Eco-field score (quality)

Fig. 8.6 The sequence through which eco-fields are achieved and their quality determine a phase space inside which a species persists, becomes extinct, displaced or adapts. In a phase space all combinations of life-sequence coding and quality are possible. The potential life trait sequences range from full coded (no plasticity and adaptation) to full randomness of sequence

Eco-field score (quality)

Fig. 8.6 The sequence through which eco-fields are achieved and their quality determine a phase space inside which a species persists, becomes extinct, displaced or adapts. In a phase space all combinations of life-sequence coding and quality are possible. The potential life trait sequences range from full coded (no plasticity and adaptation) to full randomness of sequence neutral landscape that can only be considered as an implicit entity. An individual decodes from the universe of signals that are produced by a neutral landscape, the ones necessary for its life, and transforms such signals into a specific meaning by using a semiotic process.

The distinction of different meaning-carriers allows species to share the same space at the same time. The same object can assume a different meaning-carrier. A flower can be food source for a butterfly, but also food source for a spider that uses the flower as a pole from which to prey upon pollinator insects (Fig. 8.7).

Fig. 8.7 A flower can assume a different meaning-carrier: for a butterfly a flower is a meaning-carrier of food quality, while for a spider it is a meaning-carrier for predatory position quality. Definitively the affordance of this flower changes according to the agent

The characteristics of the cognitive landscape can not be observed directly by another observer, but only through specific tools that cope with the sensors of focal organisms.

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