Caribbean Area Ecology
July 18, 2012
At first glance, the world of living things appears to be made up of
a bewildering variety of plants and animals, all quite different and
each going its separate way at its own pace. Closer inspection reveals,
however, that all organisms, whether plant or animal, have the same
basic needs for survival, the same problems of getting food for energy,
getting space to live, producing a new generation, and so on.
In solving these problems, plants and animals have evolved into a
tremendous number of different forms, each adapted to live in some
particular sort of environment. Each has become adapted not only to the
physical environment—has acquired a tolerance to a certain range of
moisture, wind, sun, temperature, gravity, and so on—but also to the
biotic environment, all the plants and animals living in the same
general region. The study of the interrelations between living things
and their environment, both physical and biotic, is known as ecology.
Living organisms are interrelated in two main ways, by evolutionary
descent and ecologically. One organism may provide food or shelter for
another or produce some substance harmful to the second, or the two may
compete for food or shelter. To understand ecology in detail requires
knowledge of the structure and functions of a wide variety of plants and
animals. In the list of links, you will find some of the details of
animal and plant physiology, heredity and evolution, which have made
ecology one of the major unifying concepts of biology.
For additional information related to Ecology, please contact Edwin Más, 787-831-3101/3102 x.
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