Everything that affects an organism during its lifetime is collectively known as its environment. Environment is a very broad concept. For example, an animal like a raccoon is likely to interact with mil­lions of other organisms (bacteria, food organisms, parasites, mates, predators), drink a large number of liters of water, breathe huge quantities of air, and respond to daily changes in temperature and humidity during its life­time. This list only begins to describe the various components that make up the environment of the organism. Because of this complexity, it is useful to subdivide the concept of environment into abiotic (nonliving) and bi­otic (living) factors.

Abiotic factors include the flow of energy necessary to maintain any organism, the physical factors that affect an organism and the supply of molecules required for an organism’s life functions.

The ultimate source of energy for almost all organisms is the sun. Animals obtain their energy by eating plants or other animals that eat plants. Ultimately, the amount of living material that can exist in an area is determined by the plants and the amount of energy they can trap.

Other physical factors include such things as climate, age, temperature and daily variations; the type (rain, snow, hail), amount, and seasonal distribution of precipita­tion; type of soil present and even the three-dimensional shape of the space the organism inhabits.

All forms of life require atoms such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, and molecules such as water to con­struct and maintain themselves. Organisms constantly obtain these materials from their environment by eating food or carrying on photosynthesis, use them for a period of time as part of their body structure, and return them to their surroundings through respiration, excretion, or death and decay.

The biotic factors influencing an organism include all forms of life in its environment. Plants that carry on pho­tosynthesis; animals that eat other organisms; bacteria and fungi that cause decay; and bacteria, viruses, and other parasitic organisms that cause disease are all part of an organism’s biotic environment. The kinds of or­ganisms and the number of each kind are also important in characterizing the environment.

Задание 1. Найдите в тексте английские эквиваленты:

окружающая среда, хищники, поток энергии, получать энергию, распределение осадков, формы жизни, структура тела, дыхание, выделение, бактерии и грибы, вызывать болезнь, виды организмов.

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