Biology - Adaptation for Survival

This is for AQA GCSE and has six sub sub topics which are:

1. Adapt and Survuve     2. Adaptation in Animals     3. Adaptation in Plants     4. Competition in Animals     5. Competition in Plants     6. Measuring Enviromental Change    

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Adapt and Survive

Animals need food from other organisms, water and oxygen to survive while plants need light, water, carbon dioxide, nutrients and oxygen to survive. Micro-organisms can sometimes have the same need of a plant but at other times, micro-organisms have the same needs of an animal.

When animals and plants reproduce only some animals surivive to do so. This is because these animals have features called adaptions that they use to survive in their habitat, they produce adaptations in the most extreme conditions. The organisms that suruve the the most extreme conditions are called extemophiles.

Bacteria are often extreopiles known as thermophiles. They can survive temperatures over 80 degrees when most organism's enzymes stop working at 40 and denature. Other bacteria can survive at bery low temperatures.

Some organisms are designed only to live in extremely salty condidtions such as the Dead Sea while the salt in the Dead Sea causes problems with their water balance.

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Adaptaions in Animals - Survival in Hot and Cold C

To survive in a cold area you must be able to keep as much energy as possible inside of you. If you have a larger surface area : volume ration then you are more likely to lose energy to large organisms such as walruses will lose less energy.

The surface area of softly skin areas are often reduced, such as the ears to keep the energy in. On the inside of mammals living in cold conditions there is often a thick layer of fat and on the outside there is usually a thinck layer of fur to keep the insulation in. The layer of fat can also be used as a food supply.

In hot climates the animal must be able to cope with lack of water and stopping the body temeperature from increasing too much.

Many organisms in the heat will get their water from the food they eat. They will sweat les to lose less water and are less active during the day.

Any fur that they have are kept fine and silky and they often do not have fat stored beneath their skin.

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Adaptaions in Animals - Camoflage

Camouflage is needed for both predators and prey.

Many artic cratures such as the fox and hare will have fur that changes to white in the winter to camouflage with their surroundings.

Polar bears will not change colours as the hunt seals in the sea all year.

The sandy brown colour of a tiger will also match perfectly with the dried leaves in hot areas which will help her catch her prey.

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Adaptation in Plants

Plants need water because without it it dies, they get water through the roots. The water is carried up and go through small openings called stomata. Stomata also allow gases in for photosynthesis and respiration.

For a plant to survive in condition it must either reduce its surface area or / and store the water inside its tissues. Some plants will also have roots so they can search further for water in very hot conditions. When plants store their water they will store in either the tissues of the leaves, roots or stems.

To reduce the surface area plants can curl up their leaves to reduce it so that less water can be lost from them or can have a waxy cuticle.

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Competition in Animals

An animal competes for food. Animals that eat a wide range of foods will be more successful as hey will have to compete less and there is a less likely chance of all of your food sources running out.

Prey often competes so they are not the ones caught. The adaptations made for this is a faster speed or poison inside them which makes the predator ill or dead.

An animal also competes for territory. Without territories animals cannot reprduce successfully. This is because if they have their own territory they have their own food and water supply for themselves and their offspring.

Animals compete for mates as well. Male animals may compete viciously such as killing or wounding another animal to get a mate, often their own species. Some animals will have adaptations to catch the females attention, like for peacocks they will have amazing tail feathers.

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Competition in Plants - Competion and Coping With

Plants compete for light, nutrients and space sometimes with their own offspring.. They compete for these things to reproduce and survive.

Some smalls plants will flower early on in the year to atch sunlight when the trees are bare to minimise competition. The trees at this time will need very little water as they have stored all of them in the leaves which are now providing nutrients in the soil.

Some plants will have shallow roots to get water high up on the surface and some will have deep roots. Some plants will often have a larger surface area for the leaves to be able to reach more sunlight and other will grow taller.

Also, some plants may build defences against predators such as thorns or poisons that can harm an animal or just have a bitter taste.

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Competition in Plants - Spreading Seeds

Many plants will want to avoid competition with their sedlings so can use the wind to spread them, like in dandilions where the seedlings have parachutes.

Some plants may have mini-explosions to spread their seeds.

Others will look tasty towards animals consumes it and excretes it far away

Animals can be used in other ways such as hooks that lock onto the fur and fall off after several hours.

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Measuring Enviromental Change - Distribution of Li

Non living factor uch as temperature, light, pH and local climate can have a big effect on where an organism lives. The effects on where fish live in water can depend onthe oxygen levels, like salmon need high levels and bloodworms low.

Enviromental changes can have a big effect where organisms live and non-living factors changes this, like when the levels of oxygen in the water, or the amount of sunlight or the average amount of rainfall.

Living factors can also have an effect like prey must live where there are little predators and parasties can only live where there is a host.

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Measuring Enviromental Change - Measuring Envirome

You can measure the changes of the enviroments through living organisms as an indicator. Lichens are a good indicator of pollution. They grow on rocks, roofs and barks of trees.

When the air is polluted there will be fewer lichens growing as they are very sensitive toward pollution.

You can also use invertibrates to see how clean the water is. If the water is clean then you will be able to find some types of invertibrates and the other types will only be able to be found if the water is polluted.

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