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Last Update: 3 November 2017 Part - I

M - 86

Q: Describe the effect of different abiotic factors on organisms. Mention the Law of Tolerance. What are the Ectotherms &
Heliotherm? How temperature affects on Morphology? Write a short note on cyclomorphosis. How temperatures control
the sex ratio?

Describe the effect of different abiotic factors on organisms. Mention the Law of Tolerance.
Different factor collectively act on the organism. Each factor may effect directly or indirectly.
There are two types of abiotic factor have been identified :--
a) climatic factor
b) Edaphic factor

Sometime a third factor also organized called topographic factor. It is the result of two such factor. Different
type of abiotic factor in nature. It is very difficult to identity the particular factor. These factor may have
directly infact an organism or indirectly effect.
A very simple example - temp (A) can directly effect the organism as well as soil moisture
(B) whereas soil moisture (B) effect organism (O).

Fry (1947) have been identified 5 types of factor based on physiological factor, these are :--
a) Lethal
b) Masking
c) Directive
d) Controlling
e) Deficient
a) Lethal :-- An environmental factor which cause death of the organisms is called lethal factor so any
extremity may be lethal factor.
Rotifer, nimatode can live very low temp. Some micro organisms survive in boiling water.
b) Masking factor :-- Masking factor is a factor which influences the effect of other factors and they
responses masking factor.
Relative humidity is a masking factor on temp. like esturine oyster of Urosalpine sp., they can
tolerate high chloride content of water. When temp. decreases they die. Here one factor is effect masking
effect on another.
c) Directive factor :-- A factor is called directive if it influences the direction of movement of the
organism. Insects are known movement towards the light so light is directive factor. Photopositive
insects move towards the light and photonegative insects move opposite to the light.
d) Controlling factor :--If a factor influences the rate of activity, the factor is called controlling factor.
Andrewardha and Birch (1954) act in chironamial fly (Metriocnemus hirticallis) these are
mostly found in polluted water. These are very good gio-indicator of pollution. The rate of these fly
change its development with temp. In 200c they take for development 26 days, at 100c they take for
development 94 days, at 20c they take for development 243 days. The speed of development increases
with temp. So temp. is the controlling factor.

e) Deficient factor :-- If a factor present in a certain low amount results into cessation of activity, that
factor is called deficient factor
e.g. - Sitophilus oryzae will not breed in grain in moisture content is below 9%.

Limiting Factor :-- Now a days the distinction between controlling factor and deficient factor is not
mode. These are called together the limiting factor.
Odum (1963) described that - any factor that tends to slow down potential growth in
ecosystem is called a limiting factor.
This concept was developed by Blackmam (1905) that 5 factors - amount of CO2, H2O,
Chtorophil, temp. and chloroplast and intensity of solar radiation are limiting factor for photosynthesis.
But in reality it is nothing but the extension of another low put forward by Liebig (1840).
Law of minimum :-- Ernt leibig (1845)says that a minimum amount of condition is required in soil for
growth on plants. Limiting factor also called Liebig Blackmam limiting factor.
On the basis of this law V.E.Shelford (1913) considered another law :--
Law of toleration :-- This law was discovered by V.E.Shelford (1913). Each species has a lower limit
and a upper limit with reference to a factor within which a functin of the species is at or near optimum.
Towards either extreme function of the species cut down and then totally inhabitate. This range can be
tolerated by organism. In this diagram we have identified several zones :--

1) Zone (1) :-- It is called zone of intolerance. Any area upper to lower limit and lower to upper limit is
called zone of intolerance. Below lower limit and above upper limit, there is no activity. So no
individual present.
2) Zone (2) :-- It is called of physiological stress. This zone is towards either extreme where the
individual will survive it will so little or no activity. It will remain state on the hypernation or
estivation (summer sleep), bat, beer.
3) Zone (3) :-- It is called the optimal zone which is betn physiological zone. Within optimal zone there
is a zone called preferandum. In optimal zone there is growth occur and the zone of preterandom
[zone -(4)]. In reproduction occur.
Atlantic Lobstar tolerate 0 - 170c. But below 170c population is not established.
Range of Tolerance :-- Range of tolerance varies from one sp. To another sp. Within a sp. Ti varies from
on e geographical range to anther. In living individual, one age to another age.
Two prefixes Eury and Steno are used to denote wide range and narrow range of
Eurythermal Wide range of temp. tolernce.
Stenoghermal Narrow range of temp. tolerance.

Slenolhermal varries in two types.
1) oligothermal.
2) Polythermal.
Oligothermal are those organisms who are adopted to narrow rate of to lerance towards lower factor
in this case with temp.
Eg - Tremafomus bernaechi. This is found in Antarctic ocean whose range of tolerance is from 20c to
+ 2oc. so this is an oligothermal sp. Freezing point of soline water is . so the dose not die at 2.
Polythermal are the organisms who are adapted to narrow rate of tolerance towards higher factor
Eg -Cyprinodon macularius whose range of lamp tolerance is form 10oc 40Oc
Temperature as an Ecological Factor :- There are two distinct aspects of this.
i) Temperature as physical environment.
ii) Temp. in relation to organism.
What are the Ectotherms & Heliotherm? How temperature affects on Morphology?
Temp as physical Environment:- Temp vary in our earth place to place & time to time. Such variation
are minimun at equator & maximum at polar region. The lowest temp of fresh water is oc & sea water is
3oc. the upper limit of temp in ocean is 27oc. there are some portion of the ocean where the temp is very
high. Gulf stream when water is evaporated the temp will high at 40 oc. not spring upper temp concerned
It terrestrial environment the lowest recorded temp - 75oc&. the upper recorded temp 85oc. near equitioria
region there are very low variety of temp. But away from equator the seasonal fluctuation is more.
The maximum variation of temp in a year in north Dakota, USA (a desert ) 43oc-49oc.
Diel variation is concerned between day & night. & Normalities it is 17 oc. but in some desert the day &
night temp may very about 30oc.
Temperature in relation to organisms:-
It influence structure, function, behavior as well as distribution of organism on the basis of relationship
between tamp and organisms.
a) Ectotherms:- ectotherms are those animals where the body tamp is depended upon environment tamp
this animals cannot control their body tamp. Such animals are called cold blooded. They are called
b) Endotherm:- the tamp of body made up of oxidative metabolism. I e, internal function of the body. They
can maintain the homeostasis with the helf of 80-90/ of heat generated by its metabolic oxidation.
Therefore such animals are called endothermic. It also called homotherms or warm blood animal.
c) Heliotherm :- Those animals in which the body tamp is partially regulated & this metabolism is
common in amphibia & reptilia. The amphibia control their body tamp by 100c .
The best example of helitherm is camel. The body tamp fluctuates between 350c -400c.
[Crocodile siting under the sun is called basking.]
Range of tolerance:- it is believed that life can exist -200oc to 1000c. most of the insect can tolerate.
Rotifera, tardigrada, Nematoda can be cool down to a tamp, of -2720c. most of the animal can tolerate 520c
but in desert more than 520c.
In plant, algae & some non-photosynthetic plant can tolerate 900c.
The extra-ordinary ability to tolerate an extreme low temp &desiccation is called anabiosis & cryptobiosis.
For mammals the tolerate temp is 520c. in desert insects & lezards have been siting on hot sand having a
tamp of 650c & Rotifers can be exposed to temp of 1500c for few minutes.
Effect of temperature:- Temperature influences in various type of aspects like morphology. Physiology &
behaviour etc.
Morphology :- In the early book of ecology there are some rules dependent upon the changes of
morphology. These are -
I) Gloggers rule.
II) bergmans rule
III) Allens rule.
i) Glogger Rule:- According to gloggers rule individual living in a cold region, where temp is low, have
less pigmentation, where as in the not region, where temp is high, have more pigmentation. As for eg in
human being we found that the skin colour is very fair in north India, i.e. panjab Kashmir. But as well as in
southern part skin colour is mostly black.
ii) Bergmans Rule : According to the bergmans rule creature are bigger in cold region & smaller in size in
warm region.
a) as for e g polor been are double in size than the warm region.
b) Another eg the height of people in the north region are taller whereas in the equatorial region people are
small size decrease with tamp one advantage of this reason is due to tall figure.
iii) Allens rule :- According to the Allens rule, body extremities are largen in warm country &
comparatively smaller in cold region. So it is happened that the creature is cold in region but body
extremities are smaller in that region & creature is smaller in warm region but at the same time body
extremities are larger in warm region.
For eg -An India fox & desert fox, the ears are bigger & snout also pointed, but in the arelic region fox, the
ear are smaller & the snout is also smaller.

One advantage of this creature is that due to the presence of large ear they can reflex more sun light by the ear
in the warm region but in the cold region fox cannot reflect more sun light and the heat lose is limited.
Beside these rule there are some exception rule. These are Gorkhas are lived in the cold region but
they are not tall at the same time Nigros are lived in the warm region but they appear tall figure.
(2) Temperature influence another type of morphological changes with seasonal variation.
Write a short note on cyclomorphosis. How temperatures control the sex ratio?
It is the seasonal variation of morph that means forms or morphology. It is very common in
cleadocera. Cladocerans are Daphnia, Moina etc. So in some Daphnia shows a helmet like structure in
summer, but in Autum, the helmet structure decreases in size. In winter the helmet structure completely
disappear & in spring then helmet again occur. This type of cyclic changes of morphology called

Fig - Cyclic changes of Daphnia with season.
Temperature influences Sex -ratio :-
i) In Cladocera, Copepoda, Rolifers females are more in no. in comparison with the male where as
in copepoda no male occur in normal temp, but in the high temp. male are appear.
ii) In rat flea (xenopxylla cheopis), when the environmental temp. Between 210C- 250C male in out
no of female. But at the low temp, female are out no of male. That means the reverse is true.
iii) In an Alligator missisipiensis, when the eggs are incubated in 300C, the all eggs become
transferred into female producing egg & after hatching females are come out. But when the eggs
are incubate at 350C all eggs result into male.
iv) In Red cared slider turlle (Trachemys scripta) crew (1994-96) found that when the eggs are
incubated 200C- 28.60C males are come out from the egg & when eggs are incubated at 29.40C-
350C, the females are come out.
Within the narrow range of temp, of male & female hatching, some will become male & some will become
In case of these reptiles a peculiar type of sex determination which is called Temp dependent sex
Physiology :
Temperature influences various type of physiological activity like metabolic activity, enzymatic activity,
respiration, food intake activity etc.
i) Temperature can be related with feeding rate :
In case of large mouth bars, a carnivorous fish which feed on small Minnos. AT 50C there was no
feeding. But in 120C it will feed at the rate of 1.6 minnos / bars / week & at 200C the rate of feeding is 4.1 minnos /
bars / weak. That means temp, influences food intake.
ii) Temp. depends on No. of Moulting & Speed of Development :
Temp, also influences the speed of development. In case of cyromonus, Opia, Nodesa with the
increase of temp, development increase. Because temp. increases no. of moulting. Like in case of grass hopper
(Melanoplas mexicanus) in laboratory when the egg is incubated at 220C- 270C, the development involve in 6 moults
to reach the adult stage. But at 320C- 370C, there occurs moult is eliminaled.
Sometime the fluctuating temp, influences the speed of development. The optimum temp of hatching the
eggs are 270c - 370c and the low and threshold temp. is 80c. below this temp. eggs will not hatch in lymph. But if the
eggs are transferred 00c soon after it is laid & then got back to the optimum temp, the sped of development will be
accelarated. But at 00c it is not more time. If the eggs are placed in cold for more time the speed of development is
iii) Temp fluctuate from place to place & time to time. As a result of change in the temp. creature migrat from
place to place called thermal migration.
Generally thermal migration are of two types -
a) Vertical migration.

b) Horizental migration.
This can involve a distance of few cm, to the several thousanf kilmeter. Migratiioon can be seasonal & com be
diurnal or can be annual.
As for eg. the longest migration take place in bird Arclic term (Sterna macrusa) migrate from Artic region to antercic
region, It covers the maximum distance.
iv) Rate of Development:- In melaoplas mexicmus if eggs after being laid are put in a 00c & then transfer to a
temp, 270c - 370c which is considered as oplimal lemp which is development at faster rate. Cold accelerate
development. Prolonged 00c is result into retardation.
Behavior :- Temperature also influence the behavioral changes. At very high temp individual try to avoid tolerate &
regulate the temp. so, they are mostely nocturnal.
i) The desert liazrd never stand in sand & they dancing up & down or one foot to another foot.
ii) In case of desert bird they will make their nest on the easterm side of the tree. Because in the
hot afternoon the castern side become shed & they comfortable from heat.
Range of Tolerance:- Range of to lrance very from one sp to another sp. some species have higher range of tolerance
and some sp. have lower range toelerance. As for egg. Aurelia auritu which is cosmopoluton in distribution. This is
found in universal sea. But Halifax variety found in cold sea of North Cabada, average temp of the sea is 140c &
Tortugus found in Southern part of the North America, where average temp. is 290c means found in warm sea.
It Halifax variety imported into the warm sea, it will die. It will not available to survive because this sp. are
adapted for cold water. It moves by jet on water by locometary force of manubrium & repulsing force. They take food
by pulsation process & other activity. Their optimal rate of pulsation is 15 -20 times /mm.
It we graphically show the activity -

The optimal temp. Of the Halifax varies is 100c w2hereas the optimal temp. of the Tortugus variety is 300c.
It indicates these are locally adapted geographical races. Such locally adopted geographical races are called
Ecotypes. Sweedish botanist G. Turesson (1920-30) first recognized the concept of ecotype
The range of tolerance is different in different age. As for example marine blue crab can tolerate seawater,
brackish water & fresh water with high chloride type. They are euryhaline in nature. Where the larva is unable to
survive in frest water & the sub adult stages are not found in river. Their reproductions take place in ocean. Larvas are
Similarly Atlantic Lovestar found in Atlantic ocean. The range of tolerance 00c-170c but the sub-adults connot
tolerate less than all the adult make excursion to cold sea.
A child adapted a narrow range of tolerance where as an adult have wide rangge of tolerance.
Concept of Tolerance and Subsidiary Principles:-
i) A species which have broud rangge of tolerance with reference to one factor bhut it has
narrow range of tolerance with reference to other factor.
ii) Those sp. which have broad range of tolerance for most of the factor are likely to be more
widely distributed as compare to other sp. for eg- man, Aurelia aurita.

iii) If any factor is not in the optimum level then it reduces the limit of tolerance with response to
other factors also. For eg- It was pointed out by panman (1956) where N2 is limiting in soil, then it
decrease the drought tolerance of grasses & more water is required to prevent the grasses.
iv) A species have a narrow range of tolerance in respect to one factor but also it has a wide
range of tolerance in respect to other factor.s\
Eg- Desert pup fish.
Temperature and Distribution:- Temp is one of the most important thing in order to orgainsm. They like to avoid
extreme high temp or exlreme low temp are governorly distributed. In the equation region the variety of animal
dicrease, only higher group of organism present.
For eg- Coral reef found in Antarctica is formed by antozoa required above 210c for the formation of Coral.
Similarly on pected greenlandicus which is a molluse found in- that area of greenland where the temp.
remains below 00c throught the year.s
Colorado potato beetle (a pest of potato) - Leptinotursa decemlineata found in colorado its distribution does
not occur where the temp. falls - 120c.
Interaction between Temp. & Moisture (parle, 1954)s

Climatic Factor Tribolium Confusum Tribolium Casteneum

Temp. Relative humidity
34C 70 % X 100 %
24C 30 % 100 % X
Park (1954) cultured stored grain pests Tribolium confusum & Tribolium Castenceum under different climatic
region. He fond that the survival of the percentage varies. These are so closely related in morphology but their climatic
requirements are different. It is not that only temp make the survival but its relative humidity also depends.
Another e.g. Melanoplus mexicanus a type of grass hopper, if the egg will hatch below 220c & the required
relative humidity in between 30-100%. But if they hatch the eggs at 370c it required the relative humidity much be
over 70%. So at high temp high relative humidity required & at low temp, low.