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Community Ecology A Community Includes All Life in an Area.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Ecology A Community Includes All Life in an Area."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Ecology A Community Includes All Life in an Area

2 Niche: JOB The sum total of all the ways as organism utilizes the resources of its environment Such as: space utilization, food consumption, temperature range, moisture requirements, etc. Fundamental niche – entire niche a species is CAPABLE of using Realized niche – actual niche a species occupies

3 NOTE: Niche is NOT the same as habitat HABITAT – a physical place NICHE – pattern of living The niche of a lion – predator Turkey vulture – scavenger Cacti – drought tolerant species

4 Biotic Interaction Competition Predation Symbiosis

5 Competition Interspecific competition – two different species attempt to utilize the same resource Intraspecific competition – two members of the same species fighting for same resource

6 Organisms may occupy more than one niche Gauses Rule: No two organisms may occupy the same niche for very long when resources are LIMITING Survival of the fittest – the stronger will force the weaker out of the habitat or contribute to its demise This is known as the Competitive Exclusion Principle

7 Resource Partitioning The reduction of competition of resources between species by subdividing the niche Warblers: (5) species that fed on insects of spruce trees One species fed on insects near branch tips One fed on dense foliage One fed on bases of tree branches One on the tree top One on the tree bottom


9 Each bird fed on different insects by feeding at different levels of the spruce tree – different niches Sympatric species – differentiation of populations into different species within the same geographical areas (brown/green anole) Partition resources by feeding in different portions of the habitat, utilizing different foods, feeding at different times Believed to be driven by natural selection

10 Allopatric Populations The differentiation of geographically isolated populations into distinct species

11 Predators Consuming of one organism by another Predators (or lack of) can often have large effects on prey populations Eastern Coast - population explosions of white-tailed deer – strip the habitat of all edible plant life Western Coast - sea otters hunted to near extinction – sea urchin populations exploded (otters eat urchins)

12 Predation Prey = Predator Predator = Predator = Prey

13 How Would Evolution Apply? Evolution – change in a species over time Adaptation – species becomes better suited for survival Natural selection - survival of the fittest PREDATOR – strong selective pressure on prey Only the strongest, quickest prey survive – prey evolve defensive adaptations Also only the strongest, fastest predators will survive

14 Plant Defenses against Herbivores Morphological defenses – thorns, spines, prickles, and plant hairs Chemical defenses – toxic to most herbivores or disturb their metabolism (mustard, cabbage, watercress, radish, and horseradish, the same taste we enjoy!)

15 Animal Defenses against Predators Defensive Coloration – Cryptic coloration – color that blends with the surroundings and thus hides the individual from predators *usually do not live together in groups* Warning coloration – showy coloration that shows they are poisonous Chemical Defenses – Poisons and Stings

16 Mimicry – looking like a harmful organism Batesian Mimicry – palatable insects having coloration of a distasteful insect Monarch and viceroy butterflys Mullerian Mimicry – the resemblance of dangerous, unpalatable, or poisonous species (even unrelated species) to one another so that they become more easily recognized by potential predators Brightly colored species of poison dart frogs

17 Coevolution long-term mutual evolution of members of biological communities Ex. Predator-Prey interactions Flowers and pollinators

18 A Type of Co-evolution Symbiotic relationships – two or more kinds of organisms live together in elaborate and permanent relationships Example: Fungi and roots of plants – fungi and expedite the plants absorption of nutrients and the plants in turn provide the fungi with carbohydrates

19 Kinds of Symbiosis Commensalism Mutualism Parasitism Saprophitism

20 Commensalism One species benefits while the other neither benefits nor is harmed Example: Epiphytes on trees (epiphytes – plants that live on other plants) Vermiliads and orchids in rain forest

21 Mutualism Both participating species benefit Example: Cattle egret on back of cow

22 Parasitism One species benefits but the other is harmed Ex. Tapeworm in dog Tick on human

23 3 Types of Parasites External – parasites that feed on the exterior surface ex. Lice Internal – parasites that feed on the interior *not bacteria of fungi* Brood – ex. Birds lay eggs in nests of other species

24 Keystone Species Species that have a particularly strong effects on the composition of communities Examples: Dung beetle Beavers

25 Succession Change in which one ecosystem is replaced by another ex. Pond becoming a forest, field becoming a marsh

26 Primary Succession where there has been no life previously Occurs on bare, lifeless substrate when organisms gradually move into an area and change its nature Ex. sand dune, lava, bare rock

27 Secondary Succession where life has existed previously a wooded area is cleared and left alone, plants will slowly reclaim the area ex. After a forest fire, a fallow field

28 Why Succession Happens Species alter the habitat and the resources available in it in ways that favor other species.

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