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Population and Community Ecology

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Presentation on theme: "Population and Community Ecology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Population and Community Ecology
Chapter 6 Population and Community Ecology

2 Natures Exists in Several Levels
Individual, population, community, ecosystem, biosphere Population is all the same members of the same species in a given area. This is the unit of evolution Community is all the populations. Looks at species interactions. Communities can be grouped together to form biomes Ecosystem looks ate energy and matter flow, biotic/abiotic Biosphere is all earth’s ecosystems (anywhere life occurs)


4 Population Characteristics
Population size is the total number of individuals within a defined area at a given time. Population density is the number of individuals per unit area at a given time. Used to set hunting/fishing laws, wildlife boundaries, etc Larger organisms usually have smaller density due to less resources High density = easy to find mates, but more competition and disease Population distribution is how individuals are distributed in respect to one another Random – no pattern (solitary animals with large territories) (least common) Uniform – individuals evenly spaced out (territorial animals, competition) Clumped – large groups of organisms (fish, birds). Enhances feeding opportunities and protection (most common) Population sex ratio is males vs. females. Usually close to 50:50. Helps predict future populations Population age structure is dispersion of how many individuals fall in certain age groups. Most important is how many individuals fall in reproduction age


6 Factors That Influence Population Size
Biotic potential is how a population would grow if there was unlimited resources (reproductive characteristics) Density dependent factors influence an individual’s probability of survival and reproduction in a manner that depends on population size Limiting resources – a resource a population cannot live without and occurs in quantities lower than the population would require to increase in size (food, water, shelter, nutrients, competition) Carrying capacity is the max population an ecosystem can support. It can overshoot, then birth rates decrease and death rates increase Density independent factors have the same effect on an individuals probability of survival and reproduction at any population size Natural disaster, weather, temp, habitat destruction



9 Growth Models Natural population growth rate  growth rate = birth rate – death rate Intrinsic growth rate is maximum possible growth rate Actual population growth rate  (Crude birth rate + immigration rate) – (Crude death rate + emigration rate) Exponential growth model – Nt = N0ert (j curve) e=natural log, t=time, Nt=future population, N0=current population, r=intrinsic growth rate Population grows very rapidly (lots of food/space and little comp) Density independent Logistic growth model starts off exponential, but slows as population approaches carrying capacity (s curve, density dependent) Variations of the logistic say a population can overshoot the carrying capacity


11 You have just been offered a job that will last one month
You have just been offered a job that will last one month. You have 2-salary options. You can either receive $10 a week with a $5 per week raise every week, or you can receive one penny for your first day on the job, and then double the previous day’s pay for each of the remaining days. Calculate which option would be better. How does this compare to the two different types of population growth? $70 vs 10,000,000

12 You decide to invest $1000 in a savings account
You decide to invest $1000 in a savings account. Your investment will grow at a rate of 10% each year. Assuming that you reinvest the interest each year, how much money will you have in 30 years?


14 Doubling Time and the Rule of 70
The doubling time or Rule of 70 is a useful tool for calculating the time it will take for a population (or money) to double. The rule of 70 explains the time periods involved in exponential growth at a constant rate. To find the approximate doubling time of a quantity growing at a given annual percentage, such as 10%, divide 70 by the percentage growth rate. Remember, the Rule of 70 is an approximation, the actual Rule is 69.3. So the doubling time for the $1000 investment with an annual percentage rate of 10% is 70/10 = 7 years The actual Rule of 69.3 is 69.3/10 = 6.93 years Here is an example of a similar AP multiple-choice question that asks student to calculate doubling time using the Rule of 70. Example: If the population of rabbits in an ecosystem grows at a rate of approximately 4 percent per year, the number of years required for the rabbit population to double is closest to a. 4 years b. 8 years c. 12 years d. 17 years e. 25 years

15 Solution: 70/4 = 17. 5 years, the closest answer to 17
Solution: 70/4 = 17.5 years, the closest answer to 17.5 would be “d” 17 years.

16 Reproductive Strategies and Survivorship Curves
K-selected species population grows slowly until the carrying capacity R selected species have a high intrinsic growth rate (reproduce early and often) Trait K-selected species R-selected species Life span Long Short Time to reproductive maturity Number of reproductive events Few Many Number of offspring Size of offspring Large Small Parental care Present Absent Population growth rate Slow Fast Population regulation Density dependent Density independent Population dynamics Stable, near carrying capacity Highly variable


18 Population cycles Boom and bust cycle (common in r-strategists)
Rapid increase in a population, then a rapid drop off More predictable (temp or nutrient changes) Strategy is “get it while it is good” Predator prey cycle If the prey reproduces successfully due to ideal conditions, the predator will soon have success as well Predator’s population shortly trails preys population change


20 Species Interactions Competition – when individuals struggle for the same limiting resource Members of same species compete of niches overlap Direct vs. indirect Competitive exclusion principle – two species competing for the same limited resource cannot coexist (one will be driven out) Reduce competition by hunting at different times, using different habitats, and evolution of body shape/size (finches) Predation – the use of one species as a resource by another species. Does not always result in death True predators consume and kill their pray Herbivores consume plants, but don’t usually kill them Parasites live in or on host, but only consume a small piece without usually killing host. Pathogens make host sick Parasitoids lay eggs in host, and they eat their way out killing the host


22 Continued Mutualism – both species benefit from one another (birds/pollination, humans/bacteria, coral/algae, lichens) Commensalism – one species benefits, and the other is neither helped nor harmed (fish/sharks, tree branches as perches for birds) Commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism are all examples of symbiotic relationships, ones where two species live in close association with one another


24 Keystone and Indicator Species
Most ecosystems can exist without the presence of one of its species A keystone species is one that is disproportionately important to the community Typically occur in small numbers (sea star example) Ecosystem engineers are create or maintain the habitat for other species (grizzly bear) Indicator species are used as the standard to evaluate the health of an ecosystem Typically sensitive to change, so they can give warning signs (trout and poll) Indigenous species are ones that naturally live in an area Invasive species are ones that are introduces to a new ecosystem (zebra musssles)


26 Primary Succession Ecological succession is the gradual replacement of species over time Primary succession occurs on abandoned or new land masses where there is no soil Rock is covered by lichens and mosses (don’t need soil) They secrete an acid that breaks down rock to create soil Lichen and mosses die and add organic matter to soil Soil gets deeper so grasses move in If climate favors, trees will follow Secondary succession occurs in areas that have been disturbed, but still have soil and nutrients Often after natural disasters Grasses/flowers usually arrive within a year (pioneer species) Seeds come by wind, and trees quickly follow and compete for sun When everything is in balance, called climax community


28 Aquatic Succession

29 Factors That Influence Species Richness
Four majors factors Latitude – angular distance north or south of the equator. Further away from equator, less variety of animals because cold and little sun Time – more time allows for more species to evolve Habitat size – larger habitats typically means more species because dispersing species land here, can support more species, and a wider range of environmental conditions Distance from other communities

30 Theory of Island Biogeography
Theory of island biogeography- the theory that explains that both habitat size and distance determine species richness.

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