LO 5 – Adaptation to abiotic stresses and evaluation of adaptation measures


In biological or ecological context, abiotic components or abiotic factors are linked with living chemical and physical parts of the environment that affect living organisms as well as the ecosystem functioning. Abiotic factors and the phenomena associated with them affect a plethora of species, in all forms of environmental conditions, such as marine or land animals. They concern living organisms in terms of growth, maintenance, reproduction, shape of species distribution and biodiversity at broad scales (e.g., regional, continental, global extents). This happens through adaptation to abiotic stress, which can be defined as the process of change in an organism to conform better to new environmental conditions.
Thus, the organism(s) acquire characteristics, involving changes in morphology, physiology or behavior, improving their survival and reproductivity in the particular environment. As the occurrence of plasticity and possibly also the degree of plasticity, are genetically based, both these phenomena are important from an evolutionary perspective. An important evaluation of the adaptation towards abiotic factors is performed through determination of general defenses against abiotic stresses mechanisms.

Authors & affiliations

Anna Kujumdzieva

Educational goals/tools

To provide an overview and describe the abiotic factors and abiotic stress tolerance, tools and associated data commonly used in the vulnerability and adaptation evaluation;
To provide some background information on the vulnerability and to quantify the improved adaptation to abiotic stress of the living cells;
To make a causal link between adaptation and evolution;
To support the educational concept and content with ppt, videos and project work materials.

Key words/phrases

Abiotic factors; Abiotic stress; Adaptation; Project education, Videos