Adaptations, Interdependence and competition

  • Created by: Malaika
  • Created on: 27-12-19 14:41

Key Terms

Ecosystem - interaction between a community of living organisms and their environment

Community - two or more populations of organisms

Population - all the organisms of the same or closely-related species in an area

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Levels of Organisation

1) Producer - plants and algae which photosynthesise

2) Primary Consumer - herbivores (eat producers)

3) Secondary Consumer - carnivores (eat primary consumers)

4) Tertiary Consumer - carnivores (eat secondary consumers)

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All organisms that live in an ecosystem depend upon each other for food, protection, shelter

grass → rabbit → fox

If the foxes were killed, number of rabbits would increase, but the amount of grass would decrease because the increased population of rabbits would be eating it.

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Photosynthesising Plants & Algae - compete for light, space, water and minerals from the soil

Animals - compete for food, mates, territory 

Interspecific Competition - competition between different species 

Intraspecific Competition - competition within same species

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Stable Communities

Stable Community - community which the size of populations of all species remain relatively constant over time

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Abiotic Factors affecting distribution of organism

Light Intensity


Moisture Levels

Soil pH Content

Soil Mineral Content

Wind Intensity & Direction

Carbon Dioxide Levels (Plants)

Oxygen Levels (Aquatic Animals) - bioindicators -clean water > stonefly nymph

                                                                                 -some water pollution > freshwater shrimp

                                                                                 -moderate water pollution > bloodworm

                                                                                 - high water pollution > sludgeworm

                                                                                 - very high water pollution > no living insects

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Biotic Factors affecting distribution of organisms

Availability of Food

New Predators

New Pathogens

Out-competition -(new species in an ecosystem out-competing a native species)

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Competition in Plants

Light - needed for photosynthesis

Water from the Soil - needed for photosynthesis

Minerals from the Soil - needed for healthy growth

Space - needed for healthy growth

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Competition in Animals

Food - needed to complete lfe processes

Mates - needed so that they can pass their genes to their offspring

Territory - needed as is contains all the resources and conditions an animal needs to survive

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Adaptations to the Environment in Plants

Structural Adaptations - physical features which allow them to compete (e.g. formation of spines to stop a plant being eaten by grazing animals)

Behavioural Adaptations - behaviours which give them an advantage (e.g. plant shoots grow towards light to maximise photosynthesis)

Physiological Adaptations - processes which alow the to compete (e.g. formation of poisons for defence)                                                                                         

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Adaptations to the Environment in Animals

Structural Adaptations - physical features which allow them to compete ( claws to catch prey)

Behavioural Adaptations - behaviours which give them an advantage (e.g.working together in pack like wolves to hunt prey)

Physiological Adaptations - processes which allow them to compete (e.g. production of venom)

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An organism that lives in an extreme environment

The Polar Regions

Arctic (North Pole) - Polar Bears

  • Thick white fur - insulation & camoflauge
  • Thick layer of fat - keep warm
  • Acute senses of smell and sight - hunt prey
  • Small surface area : Volume ratio - minimise heat loss

Antarctic (South Pole) - Penguins

  • Thick Skin - keep warm
  • Lots of Flat - keep warm
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