The Comparative Method

Modern ecophysiologists and related fields often rely upon the comparative method for studying patterns and processes. This method allows researchers to infer evolutionary processes from consistent correlations between specific modifications to organisms and a particular habitat. For example, several different plant lineages that live in desert habitats have lost their leaves (as described above). This morphological modification is hypothesized to minimize the absorption of solar radiation and loss of water. This change has occurred independently in several plant groups (i.e., the desert habitat was invaded multiple times by different plant groups), and the closest nondesert relatives of these plants do not show these morphological adaptations, which reveals that the plants did not have these traits prior to invading. Therefore, we infer that leaf loss is a trait that arose in direct response to living in the desert. By making these across and within-group comparisons, ecophysiologists can infer that leaf loss is an adaptive response to desert living that provides a fitness advantage to the plant species that possess it.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment