Lecture #3 Notes

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15 Dec 2010
Ecology – physiology
oDefinition: physiological responses of organisms to abiotic factors
Life is built on a framework of Carbon atoms:
oThe ultimate sourceCO2
oBy autotrophs
oPhotoautotrophs: uses sunlight to photosynthesize and produce CO2
Carbon uptake differs for aquatic & terrestrial plants:
oCO2 diffuses into water and then into the leaf across the cell membrane
Life depends on photosynthesis
oProducts of photosynthesis are allocated differently in response to environmental
conditions, i.e. diversity of evolutionary adaptations
oFocus on: Adaptations of different plants of different abiotic conditions that distributes
oIf there is very low active radiation, there will be very less CO2 uptaketherefore no net
Adaptations to the environment:
oLeaf size and shape influence heat exchange and temperature regulation
If there is a bit of wind, the heat , moisture and CO2 is given of in the atmosphere.
Wind is able to penetrate much more
Because there is a break in the leaf, the lobed leaf will dissipate more heat into
the atmosphereThe more lobed and compound the leaf is the more efficient is
the exchange
Species of plants are adapted to different light
oShade plants have lower rate of saturation and photosynthesis due to less CO2 intake
Phenotypic plasticity:
oAmong individuals of the same species grown in different light conditions
oAmong leaves on the same plant with different light exposures
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