How can adaptations be beneficial to the survival of a species?

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17
Mar 26, 2015

Generally, the "survival of a species" is determined by how well a population of said species can adapt to its environment, since a species is formed by many populations that may or may not have contact with each other, and might therefore experience different environments and undergo different selections.

Nevertheless. "adaptations" arise from random little diferences which naturally occur between individuals in a population. When confronted with an environmental difficulty (such as climate change, competition for food and etc), some individuals perform better then others due to those small diferences in their phenotype.

Those that perform better may therefore give more offspring, and those characteristics that were beneficial when facing that particular selective pressure will be maintained in that population. We can say, then, that this group have adapted to that particular condition.

However, any sudden change in the environment may turn the tables, and the individuals that were once more fit may not perform as well in this new scenario: it all depends on the characteristics each individual detain, and how much their total fitness is increased.

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Mar 16, 2015

adaption can be beneficial because it helps the organism to survive in a enviroment more confortably it can be by genetic adaption or physical adaption.

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Shai M. Share
Mar 26, 2015

The term, "Adaptation," is a general term for any change an individual or population or species undergoes - whether behavioral or physiological. Assuming the change is physiological and genetic, the term to use would be "Adaptive Mutation." This is a random change (Mutation) in the genetic code that confers a positive competitive advantage (Adaptive).

There are two main types of advantages: Traits which increase FECUNDITY (the number of offspring an individual has which survive to reproduce themselves in the next generation); and Traits which increase LONGEVITY (how long an individual lives.) The greater the number of individuals that have better success at one or both of these in a population, the more successful that entire population will be. So, we combine these two concepts and call that the FITNESS of an individual or population.

Increased fitness can be seen as a "competitive edge" in a struggle for survival.

Over successive generations, traits that confer greater fitness should increase in frequency. This is called SELECTION.

So what does this have to do with the SURVIVAL of a species?

Populations and species do, occasionally, experience adaptive mutations which increase their fitness . If a trait increases fitness it is "selected for" and may increase the success of that population or species. This increases the likelihood of having that population or species survive generation after generation.

Side note...

There are many ways in which a trait can increase fitness. These are called SELECTIVE PRESSURES. Here are three types:

NATURAL SELECTION
Pressures from the natural environment due to competition for food, mates, or space. e.g.: a predator's ability to capture prey.
ARTIFICIAL SELECTION
Pressures from humans due to how we can use that species. e.g.: dog breeding.
SEXUAL SELECTION
Pressures from (usually) females of a species that relate to which males they choose to reproduce with. e.g.: the male peacock's tail.

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Mar 17, 2015

Well, adaptations are, basically, a reflex of the DNA mutations that happen through the generations. DNA mutations aren't adaptatioins, they are random. But when a mutation does something good for some living being, that new mutation has a good chance to be maintained through the new generations, because it helps the creature to live.

That is how adaptions happen. Now, adaptations are vital for any living being on the planet, because the environment changes. If life it self had started without this capacity of adaptating, and it may have, it would probably die in few years, because there would be only one kind of life form.

The survival of a species depends on how much that species is adpated to its own ecosystem.

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