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Community Ecology Chapter 53. Community More than one species living close enough together for potential interaction.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Ecology Chapter 53. Community More than one species living close enough together for potential interaction."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Ecology Chapter 53

2 Community More than one species living close enough together for potential interaction

3 Community Interactions Interspecific (between species) interactions link species in a community There are different combinations of benefit/detriment in different interactions Competition, predation, herbivory, symbioses, and disease

4 Interspecific Competition two species compete for a resource result is detrimental to one or both species competitive exclusion - strong competition can lead to the local elimination of one of the two competing species Invasive species Phragmites grass outcompetes and excludes native cattails

5 Ecological Niches “Profession” of a species Resource acquisition, behaviors, tolerable limits of environment (temp, size, position), Overlapping niches can lead to character displacement – characteristics diverge in sympatric populations to specialize in particular part of resources (resource partitioning)

6 Predation Advantage to one species/disadvantage to the other One species captures and eats part or whole of another species

7 Preventing Predation


9 Herbivory Special case of predation Animals eating plants Generally seen as advantage for animal and disadvantage for plant

10 Preventing Herbivory Plants cannot move Produce defenses (chemicals, mechanical) or develop mutualistic relationships that protect themselves

11 Parasitism One organism benefits by taking nutrients from another organism who is harmed

12 Disease Pathogens similar to parasites Pathogens usually lethal/parasites usually not Pathogens microscopic/parasites multicellular

13 Mutualism Interspecific interaction where both species benefit

14 Commensalism Interaction where one species benefits and the other species is neither helped nor harmed Doesn’t really exist – everything is a spectrum

15 Species Diversity Species richness - total number of different species in the community Relative abundance - proportion each species represents of the total individuals in the community species diversity of the community is dependent on both species richness and relative abundance


17 Trophic Structure feeding relationships between organisms Food chain - transfer of food energy up the trophic levels from its source in plants and other photosynthetic organisms (primary producers) through herbivores (primary consumers) to carnivores (secondary and tertiary consumers) and eventually to decomposers


19 Limited Energy 10% transfer of energy from one trophic level to the next limits food chain length

20 Dominant Species species in a community that are the most abundant or that collectively have the highest biomass dominant species exert a powerful control over the occurrence and distribution of other species

21 Keystone Species not necessarily abundant in a community exert strong control on community structure not by numerical might but by their pivotal ecological roles, or niches


23 Foundation Species organisms exert their influence not through their trophic interactions but by causing physical changes in the environment that affect the structure of the community alter the environment through their behavior or by virtue of their large collective biomass

24 Disturbance an event, such as a storm, fire, flood, drought, overgrazing, or human activity, that changes a community, removes organisms from it, and alters resource availability

25 Ecological Succession disturbed area may be colonized by a variety of species, which are gradually replaced by other species, which are in turn replaced by still other species Primary succession – process begins in lifeless area without soils Secondary succession – process begins when previous life removed by disturbance; soils present

26 Biogeographic Factors community’s species diversity correlated to geographic location and geographic size Equatorial – Polar gradient – more species near equator due to climate Species – area – the larger the area, the more species can exist

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