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Science

Distribution of organisms

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The distribution of living organisms in a particular habitat may be affected by physical factors such as temperature and amount of light. Transects and quadrats are used to help collect quantitative data about organisms in their habitats. The collected data can be analysed to find the mean, median and mode values of organisms in a particular area.

Physical factors

The physical factors that may affect organisms include:

  • Temperature
  • Amount of light
  • Availability of water
  • Availability of nutrients
  • Availability of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

(Note that these do not include factors such as the presence or absence of predators.)

So, for example, daisy plants need light energy from the sun to make their own food using photosynthesis. Therefore more daisies will be found where there is plenty of available light, rather than in shady places.

Similarly, more grass plants are found in the full sunlight of a field rather than in a semi-shaded area or in shady woodland. This is because grasses need a lot of light energy to photosynthesise.

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Back to Organisms and their environment index

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