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Chapter 4! Evolution, Biological Communities, and Species Interactions.

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1 Chapter 4! Evolution, Biological Communities, and Species Interactions

2 Tolerance Limits Includes environmental factors –Temperature –Moisture levels –Nutrient supply –Soil/Water chemistry –Living space Environmental Indicators- organisms/physical factors that serve as a gauge for environmental changes

3 Evolution Four conditions: –Different traits must be present –These traits must affect reproductive success –Traits must be genetic –Selective pressure must favor these traits differently Mutations- random changes in DNA; only affects evolution if they occur in the gametes

4 Selective Pressure Organisms can be subjected to artificial pressure Selection can be a positive or negative force Resource Partitioning- various populations sharing environmental resources through specialization; thereby reducing direct competition Radiative Evolution- divergence from a common ancestor into two or more new species

5 Isolation Reproductive isolation prevents gene flow Types of isolation: –Geographic –Mechanical –Temporal –Behavioral –Ecological

6 Ecological Niches Niche- description of the role played by a species or the set of environmental factors that determine species distribution Generalists vs. Specialists Genetic vs. Social Law of Competitive Exclusion- no two species will occupy the same niche and compete for the same resources in the same habitat for long

7 Predators Feed directly upon living organisms, regardless of whether or not they killed it Feeding targets change as the predators mature Force evolution on other species= coevolution Parasites- feed on hosts without killing them Pathogens- disease-carrying organisms

8 Keystone Species A group of species whose impacts on a community are larger than they appear Not just top predators Species are intricately connected in biological communities, so it is difficult to determine the essential key

9 Competition Intraspecific vs. interspecific Most species avoid a fight Many species have ways to minimize competition Territoriality depends on the size of species and resources available

10 Symbiosis The intimate living together of two or more different species Enhances survival of the partners, entails some degree of coadaption

11 Defense Toxic chemicals and body armor, often with a bright coloring or distinctive pattern to warn enemies Batesian and Müllerian mimicry Camouflage is another way organisms defend themselves from predators.

12 Productivity Primary productivity is the rate of biomass production Rates are regulated by: light levels, temperature, moisture, nutrient availability Only a small percentage of the sunlight available is ever absorbed

13 Abundance and Diversity Abundance is an expression of the total number of organisms in a biological community Diversity is a measure of the number of different species or genetic variations present Abundance and diversity are inversely related Dependent on the total resource availability, resource reliability, adaptations of the species, and interactions between species

14 Community Structure Ecological structure is the patterns of spatial distribution of populations in an area Individuals live where resources are available and can be distributed randomly Species cluster together for protection, assistance, reproduction, or access to an environmental resource

15 Complexity and Connectedness Complexity refers to the number of species at each trophic level Diverse communities might not be complex if all the species are in a few trophic levels Highly connected communities generally have more trophic levels

16 Resilience and Stability Three types of resilience: –Constancy: lack of fluctuations in composition or function –Inertia: resistance to perturbations –Renewal: ability to repair damage after disturbance

17 Edge Effects The boundary between one habitat and its neighbors Community sharply divided is a closed community while one where species can cross the borders are open

18 Ecological Succession The process by which organisms occupy a site and gradually change environmental conditions Follows an orderly sequence of events Climax community is the culmination of the successional process and resists further change

19 Primary Succession Occurs when a community begins to develop on a site previously unoccupied by living organisms Pioneer species start the cycle of living organisms and are replaced as the environment changes and new species emerge

20 Secondary Succession Occurs when an existing community is destroyed and a new one takes its place Starts with pioneer species, which are again replaced as the environment changes and the site becomes richer

21 Equilibrium Communities These are communities that never reach a stable climax because they are characterized by and adapted to periodic disruption –Fire-climax communities are maintained by periodic fires and their structure would be skewed without them

22 Invasive Species Succession requires the continual introduction of new species as old ones die out Introduced species may prey on or compete more successfully with native species, sometimes causing the entire community to change Humans try to introduce new species in an attempt to solve problems created by other organisms, but these often make the situation worse Kudzu in Alabama

23 Case Study #1-Burmese Pythons First Burmese python appeared in the Everglades National Park (Florida) in the 1990s Causes: –People who buy them as 20-inch babies can not take care of them when they grow to 12 feet and release them into the wild –Hurricane Andrew in 1992 destroyed an exotic snake warehouse The climate was similar to the warm climate of Asia (their native home), the thick vegetation was favorable to the snakes Little to no predation causes the python population to boom and become a serious threat to the native species the park is trying to protect In the past ten years, 1,300 Burmese pythons have been captured for research on how to eradicate the pests Whats being done about it: –On Non-Native Amnesty Day, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages owners of unwanted exotic pets to turn them in to zoos and such –Senator Bill Nelson has proposed legislation to make the importing of many exotic snakes illegal

24 Case Study #2-Natural Selection Poecilia reticulata, also known as guppies, have varying average age and size of sexual maturity based on what pool along the Aripo River on the island of Trinity they are found in The variation was correlated with the difference in primary predators in each pool: –Small killifish prey on juvenile guppies –Larger pike-cichlids prey on mature guppies Scientists noticed that the guppies in the pools dominated by pike-cichlids tend to be younger and smaller at maturity

25 Case Study #2 Cont. To ensure that the predation differences were causing the selection, the scientists transplanted fish from the pike-cichlid dominated pools to pools containing only killifish Results over 11 years: –After generations, the transplanted fish were an average of 14% heavier at maturity than the guppies that were left in their original pools Conclusion: –The pike-cichlids prey mainly on larger, adult guppies, and therefore the chance of growing to maturity and reproducing is low –The guppies that reached sexual maturity at a younger age and a smaller size survived to pass on their genes –Natural selection favored these fish and the general population became more like the ideal guppies

26 The end

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