|MadSci Network: Evolution|
Dear Daniel, An organism can survive in its specific environment because it is adapted to those physical conditions. Plants from temperate zones may not survive in the tropics because the soil there may be too wet or the temperatures may be too high for them. Conversely, plants from the tropics may not survive the winter temperatures in the temperate zones. Likewise, the plants that normally grow in areas where there is never a dry season would be unlikely to survive in deserts or even in the Mediterranean climates where the summers are hot and dry. On the other hand, the plants that live in deserts have adaptations that enable them to cope with the scarcity of water and the intensity of solar radiation. But some organisms can tolerate a broad range of physical conditions. For example, humans live in all sorts of climates. (see http://anthro.palomar.edu/adapt/Default.htm) It is also possible by selective breeding to increase the tolerance of a plant or an animal species to the physical conditions different from those in its natural habitat. If you search the Internet for plant domestication, you will find many relevant sites. Aydin Orstan
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