Biological and environmental interactions

It is the physical hydrodynamics which controls substratum type which, in turn, affects the biological features of these habitats (McLachlan, 1983, 1996). Within the biological niches created by the physical environment, biological factors such as predator/prey relationships operate. Furthermore, the biological components will also affect the physical conditions, e.g. bioturbating organisms rework and bind the sediment changing the properties of the substratum (Peterson, 1991). These interactions between the physical features and biota (‘environment to biology’), the relationships between the biological components and processes (‘biological mediating relationships’, ‘biology to biology’), and those whereby the biological processes modify the environmental conditions (‘biology to environment’) are summarised in the linked figure. The interactions between the attributes produces several related features which can be used for defining the condition of the habitats. For example, the spatial extent and the tidal regime and elevation of the biotope complexes dictates the size of the primary consumer populations supported which in turn are prey for the fish and birds (Gray, 1981).

‘Environment to Biology’ Links

Biological Mediating Relationships

Biology to Environment Links