Zoology lecture notes and study materials

Parasitic Adaptations (Platyhelminthes, Nematodes, Insects and Plants)


parasitic adaptations

Parasitic Adaptations of Plants and Animals

What is meant by Adaptation?

Adaptation definition: ‘Any feature of an organism or its part which enables it to exist under conditions of its habitat is called adaptation.’ The adaptations are mainly to withstand the adverse conditions of the environment and to use the maximum benefit of the environment.

What are Parasites?

A parasite is an organism which lives in or on another organism (called host) and benefits by deriving shelter and nutrients from them. The parasitism is a type of negative ecological / biological interaction in nature where one organism gets benefited (the parasite) and the other is harmed (the host). The parasites may be microbes such as bacteria, virus and Mycoplasma, or animals such as liver fluke, worms, nematodes, some insects and plants such as Loranthus, Cuscuta etc. All types of parasites show peculiar adaptations to survive in or on the host system and to get maximum benefit from them.

Learn more: Positive and Negative Interactions in an Ecosystem

Parasites show three level adaptations, they are

(1).     Structural Adaptations (Morphological and Anatomical Adaptations)

(2).     Physiological Adaptations

(3).     Reproductive Adaptations

(1).  Structural Adaptations (Morphological and Anatomical) Adaptations of Parasites:

Ø  Feeding organs are usually absent in endoparasites.

Ø  Fluid feeding insects such as aphids have highly specialized mouth parts for the easy absorption of cell sap from the host.

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Ecology Lecture Notes

Xerophytes: Ecological Adaptations with PPT


ecological adaptations of xerophytes ppt

Xerophytic Adaptations of Plants
(Ecological Adaptations of Desert Plants)

What are xerophytes?

Ø  Xerophytes (xerophytic plants) are plants growing in dry habitats (xeric conditions) where the availability of water is very less.

Ø  Xeric habitat: places where water is NOT present in adequate quantity.

Ø  Xerophytes are the characteristic plants of deserts or semi-deserts areas.

Ø  Xerophytes can also grow in mesophytic conditions.

Ø  Xerophytes can tolerate:

$.  Extreme dry condition

$.  Low humidity

$.  High temperature

$.  High wind-flow

Ø  Three types of xeric habitats occurs on the earth:

(1). Physically dry habitat: the water retaining capacity of the soil very low and climate is dry (Example: a desert).

(2). Physiologically dry: water is present in excess, but not in the absorbable conditions or the plants cannot absorb it (Example: high salt water, high acidic water and high cold water, water as snow).

(3). Physically and physiologically dry: water present as mist, plants cannot absorb water from the atmosphere directly. (Example: mountain slopes)

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Ecology Lecture Notes

Characteristics of Hydrophytes with PPT (Classification and Adaptations)


Water plants adaptations PPT

Hydrophytes: Classification and Adaptations
(Morphological, Anatomical and Physiological Adaptations of Aquatic Plants)

What is an adaptation?

Ø  “Any feature of an organism which enables it to exist under conditions of its habitat is called adaptation”.

Ø  Adaptations are for withstanding adverse conditions of environment and to utilize the maximum benefit of the environment (nutrition or conditions).

Ø  Adaptations in plants may be in:

1.   Morphological features

2.   Anatomical features

3.   Physiological characters

4.   Reproductive characters

Classification of plants based on water relation (Warming, 1990)

(1). Hydrophytes: plants growing in or near water.

(2). Xerophytes: plants adapted to survive under very poor availability of water.

(3). Mesophytes: plants growing in an environment which is neither very dry nor very wet.

What are hydrophytes?

Ø  Hydrophytes (aquatic plants, water plants) are plants growing in or near water.

Ø  These plants are adapted to survive in excess of water in their surroundings.

Ø  Greek: Hudor = water; Phyton = plant: water plant

Ø  Examples: Utricularia, Vallisneria, Hydrilla, Chara, Ceratophyllum, Trapa

Ø  Aquatic plants are the producers of the aquatic ecosystem.

Ø  They fix sunlight and ensures the survival of an aquatic ecosystem.

Ø  Even though plants originated in water, except algae, most of the aquatic plants are evolved from their mesophytic relatives.

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Ecology Lecture Notes

Difference between Oligotrophic and Eutrophic Lakes


characteristics of lake ecosystem

Oligotrophic vs Eutrophic Lakes
Similarities and Difference between Oligotrophic vs Eutrophic Lakes / Ponds

Lake Ecosystem is an example for a lentic ecosystem. An aquatic ecosystem with stationary or relatively still water is called lentic ecosystem. Based on the trophic state* and productivity, the lake ecosystem is divided into three categories.

(1). Oligotrophic lakes

(2). Eutrophic lakes

(3). Mesotrophic lakes

(1). Oligotrophic lake: a lake with low productivity, low nutrients and clear water with drinking water quality.

(2). Eutrophic lake: a lake with high productivity, high nutrients and with dark water. The water is usually not good for drinking purpose.

(3). Mesotrophic lake: a lake with intermediate nutrient level and productivity.

This post describes the similarities and differences between an Oligotrophic Lake Ecosystem and a Eutrophic Lake Ecosystem as a comparison table.

Similarities between Oligotrophic and Eutrophic Lakes / Ponds

Ø  Both are aquatic ecosystems.

Ø  Both are natural ecosystems.

Ø  Both contain biological and abiological components.

Ø  Water in both ecosystems is rich in oxygen.

Ø  Both are lentic ecosystems.

Ø  Both ecosystems show thermal stratification.

Difference between Oligotrophic and Eutrophic Lakes/Ponds

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Ecology Lecture Notes

Biological Interactions: Positive and Negative Interactions in an Ecosystem (.PPT)


ecological interactions

Organisms living together in a community influence each other directly or indirectly under natural conditions. All the vital process of living such as growth, nutrition and reproduction requires such interactions between individuals in the same species (intraspecific) or between species (interspecific) These inter or intra relationships of individuals in a population or community of an ecosystem is called biological interactions or population interactions. The interaction between organisms may not be always beneficial to all the interacting counter parts. Based on whether, the interaction is beneficial to both interacting species or harmful to at least one interaction species, the ecological of biological interactions are classified into two categories.

(I).   Positive interactions

(II). Negative interactions

(I). Positive interactions:

In positive interactions, the interacting populations help one another. The positive interaction may be in one way or reciprocal. The benefit may be in respect of food, shelter, substratum or transportation. The positive association may be continuous, transitory, obligate or facultative. The two interacting partners may be in close contact in such a way that the tissues intermixed with each other; or they may live within a specific area of the other; or attached to its surface.  Different types of positive population interactions are:

(1). Mutualism

(2). Commensalism

(3). Proto-cooperation

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