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BIOL 111 (49)
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Lecture 3

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University of British Columbia
BIOL 111
Chin Sun

3.1 Organisms, their Physical Environment, and Communities Learning Outcomes: 1. Identify abiotic factors affecting organisms in their environment. 2. Describe habitat requirements of local species. 3. Define the composition of biological communities 4. Describe the effect of changing abiotic factors on the regional or geographic distribution of species. Readings: 15: 393-400: 4: 81-86, 101-103 temperate forest grassland kelp forest (marine) coral reef (marine) Kelp forests (occur in temperate zones) Coral reefs (occur in tropic zones)- poor nutrients in the water Desert- unpredictability of the weather causes an area to be a desert Chordata=phylum Physical Characteristics of an Environment = Abiotic (non-living) Conditions 1. Sunlight –light intensity - light wavelength - duration of light 2. temperature 3. pH of soil 4. pressure (particularly in ocean) 5. currents 6. inorganic compounds –could be harmful to some organisms -some needed for organisms’ growth Can you think of some other abiotic factors that could affect the distribution or abundance of organisms? Variation in abiotic conditions within one location Daily – light intensity (weather, time of day) - temperature (cooler at night) - precipitation Seasonally –precipitation (e.g. rainy vs. dry season) -precipitation (e.g. snow vs. rain) -duration of light due to angle sunlight hits the earth An example of variation in abiotic conditions in Kamloops, BC: Kamloops Climatic Data (monthly averages for a 30 year period) Statistic Units Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Average Temperature C -4.8 -0.6 4.5 9.4 14.0 18.3 20.8 20.3 14.9 8.5 1.7 -3.3 8.64 Mean Value High Temperature Mean Value C -1.3 3.4 10.2 16.2 21.1 25.4 28.3 27.8 21.7 14.0 5.3 0.0 14.34 Low Temperature Mean Value C -8.4 -4.8 -1.3 2.5 6.9 11.1 13.2 12.8 8.1 3.0 -2.0 -6.6 2.88 Precipitation mm 26.1 13.8 9.6 14.8 21.8 28.6 27.9 30.2 27.6 14.4 22.0 32.6 22.45 Mean Monthly Value Snowfall cm 27.5 11.9 3.1 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 12.1 31.0 7.17 Mean Monthly Value Questions: What is the range of temperatures that an organism living in Kamloops must be able to tolerate? Beside sunlight, what other abiotic factors are necessary for plants? Temp and water availability. As temp gets lower, plants/trees reduce surface area by losing leaves How does an amphibian such as Spea intermontana tolerate Tolerance of Abiotic Conditions extreme temperatures and low precipitations? Gradient: concentration/ levels of severity Plants: Seeds can handle more adverse environments. They are built with reserve in their coat so they don’t need to be active, they are dormant Animals: Adults can endure more adverse environments because they have more defenses (such as fat) Many abiotic factors vary over time; organisms living in a particular environment will be exposed to and must be able to tolerate the extremes of each abiotic factor in their environment. Organisms thrive and reproduce within their optimum range of each factor; they become stressed at the extremes of their range of tolerance. Few individuals survive the extremes for a sustained period of time; if a factor occurs beyond their range of tolerance, organisms will die. Mountain pine beetles The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) lay their eggs under the bark of coniferous trees, particularly lodgepole pines (Pinus contorta) common in Kamloops. The larvae chew tunnels in the wood and leave beh
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