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Science

Adaptations

Every organism has certain features or characteristics that allow it to live successfully in its habitat. These features are called adaptations, and we say that the organism is adapted to its habitat. Organisms within a community compete with each other for limited resources, including water and space. Plants also compete with each other for light and minerals.

Ecological words

The meaning of key words used to describe adaptations

WordMeaning
Environmentall the conditions that surround a living organism
Habitatthe place where an organism lives
Populationall the members of a single species that live in a habitat
Communityall the populations of different organisms that live together in a habitat
Ecosystema community and its habitat

A pond ecosystem consists of a pond habitat inhabited by aquatic plants, waterside plants, microorganisms, minnows and herons. The organisms together make up a community of living things.

Different adaptations

Organisms live in different habitats need different adaptations. Animals and plants may have specific features that adapt them to their environment: these include barbs and spines, poisons and warning colours that deter predators and herbivores. Some harmless species may even resemble a poisonous or dangerous species to increase their chances of survival.

Branches and leaves: bees, wasps, moths, squirrels, bluetits and hawks. Trunk: insects and larvae. Root and litter zone: bacteria, earthworms, wood lice and fungi.

Each zone of this oak tree is home to a distinctive community of organisms.

Back to Interdependence and adaptation index

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