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The Effects of Abiotic & Biotic Features on the Distribution of Plants and Animals in Terrestrial & Aquatic Habitats

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  • Essay length: 1187 words
  • Submitted: 26/08/2003
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AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment

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The Effects of Abiotic & Biotic Features on the

Distribution of Plants and Animals in Terrestrial & Aquatic Habitats

There are many abiotic (physical) factors which affect the distribution of plants and animal in their habitats.

Light is a major abiotic factor, as it is the source of energy for photosynthesis, which in turn means it influences all producers and consumers (directly or not). The amount of light available is a major factor in deciding where plants can survive. For instance terrestrial plants which are shade-tolerant can be found underneath trees, whereas those who are not only grow where there is a plentiful supply of sunlight. Similarly in aquatic environments some plants must have leaves on the surface of the water in order to photosynthesise, while others can survive under the water, where less light can penetrate.

The temperature of a habitat will provide further limitations to which organisms can survive there. Nearly all living organisms have an optimum temperature range to live, so changes to the temperature will affect the rate they grow, and will affect their evolution. This is less significant with aquatic plants and animals as water has a high

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