The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change - Chapter 6: Species adaptations to their energy environment

Elsevier, The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change, 2020, Pages 79-93
David E. Reichle

Temperature extremes and the availability of water limit the existence of life on Earth. The environmental temperatures to which organisms are exposed limit both their distribution and, at the same time, their metabolic activity. The thermal properties of water are important in determining the thermal relations of organisms. In general, life processes occur within the range of 0–40°C, and a few bacterial species and some algae can tolerate hot spring environments with temperatures as high as 70°C. The difference in reaction rates for metabolic respiration (chemical) and photosynthesis (physiochemical) dictate the optimal temperature ranges over which plants can maintain a positive energy balance. Plant and animal species deploy adaptive strategies in response to their energy environments.