Ecology: is the study of relationships between living things and their environment.
The outcome of humans regarding ecology is that they enhanced the rate of extinctions of species.
Environmental factors: are the factors which have an effect on the life of organisms. They are divided into biotic (living) components and abiotic components (non-living). At any moment one of the environmental factors can have a larger affect compared to others. However, they are interrelated. And it’s hard to isolate any of them.
G.1.1 Outline the factors that affect the distribution of plant species, including temperature, water, light, soil pH, salinity and mineral nutrients
Each species is restricted to a certain geographical areas, in particular habitats.
* It’s the ultimate source of energy in ecosystems;
* Plants grow where there is sufficient light for their autotrophic nutrition.
* This need of light has an effect on the structure of plant communities.
* Sunlight is the major source of heat. Through its effects on temperature, light intensity, also influences humidity.
* It determines the rate of biochemical reactions in organisms.
* Plants have optimum temperature, together with minimum and maximum temperatures they normally tolerate. Hence, the temperature should be within a range of 0-50°C.
* Temperature acts in conjunction with light and water in most habitats as determining factors.
* It is vital to life (its unique properties makes life possible).
* Its availability in association with light and temperature, largely determines the distribution of plants in terrestrial habitats.
* When water is plentiful, vegetation (plants) tends to grow densely. On the contrary, when water is short in supply, vegetation is sparse.
* It affects the death of rooted plants (due to dehydration) when water is short in supply