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Adaptation and competition

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Introduction

Adaptation and Competition notes What you need to know: a) Know that organisms that have similar features and characteristics can be classified together in a logical way. Understand the need for a scientific system for identification and scientific as opposed to 'common' names. b) Use data to compare the variety of organisms which live in particular habitats; investigate how the organisms in an area are affected by other organisms. c) Explore information about the structure of an organism and how they are adapted to survive in their environment. d) Know that individuals have a basic need for energy and resources from their environment and that the size of a population of individuals may be affected by competition, for food, space, light; predators, disease, pollution and availability of minerals. e) Examine how indicator species, changes in pH and oxygen levels may be used as signs of pollution in a stream and the examination of lichens as indicators of air pollution. ...read more.

Middle

Instead of using common names like Lion, scientists would use the correct term which is Panthera Leo. Panthera is the lion's Genus name and Leo is it's species name. What is a species? A species is a category used in the classification system. Living things of the same 'type' belong to the same species e.g. Human's are one species and Dogs are another. When organisms of the same species mate they produce an offspring of the same species, therefore that offspring would be viable (fertile). However, if organisms of relatively close species mate they will produce a hybrid. This is the name given to the offspring produced by two different species, for example a mule is the hybrid produced by the mating of a horse and a donkey. The hybrid produced will be sterile (in fertile) so the mule cannot reproduce and carry on that species. A population is the number of individuals of the same species living in a particular habitat. ...read more.

Conclusion

The environmental factors which may stop the increase of population are light, minerals, water and temperature. Other factors which could reduce population include disease and predators. The more species there are the higher the competition may become. If the space is restricted then not only will the competition for space increase but the likeliness of disease spreading will also increase. We can manage increasing population by culling (controlled killing), Biological Control and controlled hunting. Pollution Indicators Lichens are a special type of plant because it is composed of two organisms; fungi and algae. They grow on stone walls, buildings, trees, roofs etc. Lichens are indicators of air quality. Certain lichens are damaged by air pollution such as smoke, agricultural fertilisers, sulphur dioxide and quarry dust. This allows scientists to map the air quality by recording the type and number of lichens within an area. There are different types of Lichen, these include shrubby lichen, crusty lichen, powdery lichen and leafy lichen. Lichen are examples of indicator species as is fresh water invertebrates. Changes in the pH and oxygen levels are also pollution indicators. ...read more.

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