Last Updated 22 Mar 2021

Microhabitat Variation And It’s Meaning

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Temperature results for this observational study show that temperature mean and standard deviation values vary as you go from one location to another. These results are basically affected by several factors. One factor for example is the amount of sunlight received by a particular area. Shaded locations, such as under a holly tree and another tree near the shore pond registered lower mean temperatures (20.55 C and 21.03 C respectively) compared to those areas that are more exposed to direct sunlight such as the sunny patch of grass (31.60 C) and at the bleachers (28.52 C). exposure to direct sunlight obviously increases the temperature of a certain area while the absence of it decreases the temperature.

Also, the canopy of the trees hinders the sunlight to penetrate the area under it thus, contributing to the lowering of the temperature of the said locations. The amount of sunlight that enters the Earth has great effect on air temperature. But as sunlight passes through the air, it does not heat it but rather, warms the air above the liquids (streams, ponds) and solids (soil) on the Earth. Usually, the warmest time of the day is the middle because it is when the sunlight is directly hitting these liquids and solids. “Temperature is usually low at midnight, decreasing in the early hours of the morning, and then increasing rapidly until just after midday. It then decreases during the night” (http://www.niwascience.co.nz/edu/resources/climate/plots/).

Also, it is warmer during summer because there are more time for the Earth’s surface to heat up as compared during winter time. This event is also observable inside a thermometer, an instrument used to measure temperature. The liquid inside this instrument expands and goes up when the air surrounding it is warm. During colder days on the other hand, the liquid contracts and goes down. On the other hand, the temperature values observed under a tree showed a larger standard deviation (32.74) as compared to other areas observed.

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This can be explained by the fact that trees have the ability to reduce wind and air circulation especially in humid climates. Large trees with dense foliage can limit air circulation on hot days and increase the landscape's humidity by decreasing the amount of available sunlight. The lower a tree's branches are to the ground, the more it contributes to an airless space (http:www.<epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=201>). Variations on the activities of the tree in order to adapt to the existing sunlight amount caused the wide range of temperature values observed in this specific location.

The scatterplot shows that the average temperatures of the study locations and the number of animals observed on those locations have no significant relationship with one another as proven by a high P value (0.135). Also, the two variables have a weak positive relationship as shown by a positive R value (0.377). These observations mean that although the two variables have no significant relationship, it should still be noted that they have a positive and direct relationship, which means that as the average temperatures of the study locations increases, so does the number of animals observed on those locations and vice versa.

The abovementioned observations can be explained by the fact that animals’ survival is greatly affected by any change in their surrounding environment’s temperature. According to Liebig's Law of the Minimum, “population growth will be limited by the required factor that is in shortest supply” (http://www.utm.edu/departments/cens/biology/rirwin/441_442/441PhysEc.htm).

The factor in shortest supply can be called as the limiting factor which determines the abundance or lack of a certain number of animals and other organisms and it can either be an abiotic of biotic factor. In this experiment, we regarded the temperature as the main abiotic factor under observation. Different animals have different tolerance levels for different factors affecting their survival.

For temperature, “eurythermals” have wide range of tolerance for temperatures while “stenothermal” refers to those who have narrow tolerance for temperature. These mean that if a certain organism or group of organism cannot adapt to an environment with limiting factors that are necessary for their survival, or they cannot tolerate any drastic increase or decrease in temperature, they may be unable to reproduce or worse, die.

Another explanation for this event is the ability of animal for thermoregulation. “Thermoregulation is the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries, even when temperature surrounding is very different” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoregulation). It one process of homeostasis which is a vigorous condition of constancy between an animal’s internal and external environments.

In relation to this, there are two conditions that can happen to an organism when it cannot regulate its internal and external environments and maintain its normal temperature. One is hyperthermia, this can happen when an organism’s body temperature significantly increases above normal. On the other hand, it’s opposite is known as hypothermia wherein the body temperature decreases below the normal level. When an organism suffers any of these two conditions, it can be very fatal.

These concepts only prove that the average temperatures of the study area and the number of animals found in each observed area have a direct relationship with one another. And these can happen either during the hot day or cold day but may have different manifestations depending on the kind of organism and how it adapts to the changes in its environment.

Animals tend to prefer microclimates that show very little variation in temperature because it will be of great cost to them if they always have to regulate their body temperatures in order to adapt to their environment. And in vice versa, it will be of great help to them if they do not need to do this anymore because they will save up their energy for other metabolic processes such as reproduction or food storage and consumption.

Sources:

  1. Lecture: Physiological Ecology. Retrieved November 8, 2006, from  http://www.utm.edu/departments/cens/biology/rirwin/441_442/441PhysEc.htm
  2. Mackintoch, L. Answers to Questions. Retrieved November 8, 2006, from  http://www.niwascience.co.nz/edu/resources/climate/plots/
  3. Streich A., Janssen D., Gaussoin R., and Rodie S. (2003, July). Landscapes for Shade. Retrieved November 8, 2006
  4. Sunlight's Effect on Air Temperature. Retrieved November 8, 2006 from http://science.howstuffworks.com/question651.htm
  5. Thermoregulation.  Retrieved November 8, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoregulation

 

 

 

 

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Microhabitat Variation And It’s Meaning. (2017, Apr 07). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/microhabitat-variation/

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