Environments of organisms are greatly influenced by biotic factors such as predation and competition, but are also influenced by abiotic factors such as human activity and climate.
In biology, disturbances are changes within environmental conditions that cause intense changes in ecosystems.
Some organisms poorly suited for their local environment can respond adaptively by altering their phenotype to suit their location. We understand this as phenotypic plasticity, but what has the weather got to do with it? Why do individuals decide to alter their phenotypes instead of altering their habitat? Are there any costs and limits of plasticity? And what does it …show more content…
They may only be present in some populations and absent from many others. More research is required in this field before generalizations can be made regarding the costs and limits of phenotypic plasticity.
Ultimately, phenotypic responses to changing environments involve both plastic and genetic contributions. Individuals are able to accumulate genetic variation through adaptation-when natural selection favors genotypes that are best suited to the local environment.
To grasp this idea, we can look to the variation in humans. Populations living in areas of high sun exposure, such as countries on the African continent, have genetically darker skin (Jablonski 2004). Furthermore, populations living at higher elevations have developed unique mechanisms to increase oxygen uptake and transportation (Beall 2006).
Beneficially, the same ideas are applied to the field of agriculture. Daily, productivity and quality are maximized by a specific construction of the optimum environmental conditions and selection of the finest genetic strains.
Variation is an evolutionary principle vital for the survival of many organisms across the globe