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Community and Population Ecology. Chapter 6. Core Case Study: American Alligator. Highly adaptable Only natural predator is humans 1967 – endangered species list Successful environmental comeback Keystone species. American Alligator. Fig. 6-1, p. 105.

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Community and Population Ecology

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Community and population ecology l.jpg

Community and Population Ecology

Chapter 6


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Core Case Study: American Alligator

  • Highly adaptable

  • Only natural predator is humans

  • 1967 – endangered species list

  • Successful environmental comeback

  • Keystone species


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American Alligator

Fig. 6-1, p. 105


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6-1 How Does Species Diversity Affect the Sustainability of a Community?

  • Concept 6-1 Species diversity is a major component of biodiversity and tends to increase the sustainability of communities and ecosystems.


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Species Diversity

  • Species richness combined with species evenness

  • Niche structure

  • Varies with geographic location

  • Species richness declines towards poles


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Sustainability and Environmental Change

  • Inertia or persistence

  • Constancy

  • Resilience


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Science Focus: Community Sustainability

  • No certain definition of sustainability

  • Do communities need high inertia and high resilience?

  • Communities may have one but not the other

  • Equilibrium is rare


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Richness and Sustainability

  • Hypotheses

    • Does a community with high species richness have greater sustainability and productivity?

    • Is a species-rich community better able to recover from a disturbance?

  • Research suggests “yes” to both


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6-2 What Roles Do Species Play in a Community?

  • Concept 6-2 Based on certain ecological roles they play in communities, species are described as native, nonnative, indicator, keystone, or foundation species.


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Ecological Niche

  • Species occupy unique niches

  • Native species

  • Nonnative species

    • Spread in new, suitable niches


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Indicator Species

  • Early warning system

  • Birds

  • Butterflies

  • Amphibians


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Case Study: Why Are Amphibians Vanishing? (1)

  • Habitat loss and fragmentation

  • Prolonged drought

  • Pollution

  • Ultraviolet radiation

  • Parasites


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Case Study: Why Are Amphibians Vanishing? (2)

  • Viral and fungal diseases

  • Climate change

  • Overhunting

  • Nonnative predators and competition

  • Why we should care


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Life Cycle of Typical Frog


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Adult frog

(3 years)

Young frog

Tadpole

develops

into frog

Sperm

Sexual

reproduction

Tadpole

Eggs

Fertilized egg

development

Egg hatches

Organ formation

Fig. 6-2, p. 109


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Keystone Species

  • Significant role in their food web

  • Elimination may alter structure, function of community

  • Pollinators

  • Top predators


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Keystone Species: Dung Beetle

Fig. 6-3, p. 110


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Foundation Species

  • Create habitats and ecosystems

  • Beavers

  • Elephants

  • Seed dispersers


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Science Focus: Why Should WeProtect Sharks?

  • Remove injured, sick animals

  • Many are gentle giants

  • Provide potential insight into cures for human diseases

  • Keystone species


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6-3 How Do Species Interact?

  • Concept 6-3A Five basic species interactions – competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism – affect the resource use and population sizes of the species in a community.

  • Concept 6-3B Some species develop adaptations that allow them to reduce or avoid competition for resources with other species.


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Interspecific Competition

  • No two species can share vital limited resources for long

  • Resolved by:

    • Migration

    • Shift in feeding habits or behavior

    • Population drop

    • Extinction

  • Intense competition leads to resource partitioning


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Resource Partitioning in Warblers


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Blakburnian Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Fig. 6-4, p. 112


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Predation

  • Predator-prey relationship

  • Predators and prey both benefit – individual vs. population

  • Predator strategies

  • Prey strategies


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Predator Avoidance


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Fig. 6-5ab, p. 113


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(a) Span worm

(b) Wandering leaf insect

Fig. 6-5ab, p. 113


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Fig. 6-5cd, p. 113


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(c) Bombardier beetle

(d) Foul-tasting monarch butterfly

Fig. 6-5cd, p. 113


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Fig. 6-5ef, p. 113


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(e) Poison dart frog

(f) Viceroy butterfly mimics

monarch butterfly

Fig. 6-5ef, p. 113


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Fig. 6-5gh, p. 113


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(h) When touched,

snake caterpillar changes

shape to look like head of snake.

(g) Hind wings of Io moth

resemble eyes of a much

larger animal.

Fig. 6-5gh, p. 113


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Parasitism

  • Live in or on the host

  • Parasite benefits, host harmed

  • Parasites promote biodiversity


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Mutualism

  • Everybody benefit by unintentional exploitation

  • Nutrition and protection

  • Gut inhabitant mutualism


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Mutualism in Action


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(a) Oxpeckers and black rhinoceros

(b) Clownfish and sea anemone

(c) Mycorrhizal fungi on juniper seedlings in normal soil

(d) Lack of mycorrhizal fungi on juniper seedlings in sterilized soil

Fig. 6-6, p. 114


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Commensalism

  • Benefits one with little impact on other


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6-4 How Do Communities Respond to Changing Environmental Conditions?

  • Concept 6-4A The structure and species composition of communities change in response to changing environmental conditions through a process called ecological succession.

  • Concept 6-4B According to the precautionary principle, we should take measures to prevent or reduce harm to human health and natural systems even if some possible cause-and-effect relationships have not been fully established scientifically.


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Ecological Succession

  • Primary succession

  • Secondary succession

  • Disturbances create new conditions

  • Intermediate disturbance hypothesis


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Primary Ecological Succession


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Balsam fir,

paper birch, and white spruce forest community

Jack pine,

black spruce,

and aspen

Heath mat

Small herbs

and shrubs

Lichens and

mosses

Exposed

rocks

Time

Fig. 6-8, p. 115


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Lichens and

mosses

Exposed

rocks

Balsam fir,

paper birch, and white spruce forest community

Jack pine,

black spruce,

and aspen

Heath mat

Small herbs

and shrubs

Time

Stepped Art

Fig. 6-8, p. 115


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Secondary Ecological Succession


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Mature oak and hickory forest

Young pine forest

with developing

understory of oak

and hickory trees

Shrubs and

small pine

seedlings

Perennial

weeds and

grasses

Annual

weeds

Time

Fig. 6-9, p. 116


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Mature oak and hickory forest

Young pine forest

with developing

understory of oak

and hickory trees

Shrubs and

small pine

seedlings

Perennial

weeds and

grasses

Annual

weeds

Time

Stepped Art

Fig. 6-9, p. 116


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Succession’s Unpredictable Path

  • Successional path not always predictable toward climax community

  • Communities are ever-changing mosaics of different stages of succession

  • Continual change, not permanent equilibrium


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Precautionary Principle

  • Lack of predictable succession and equilibrium should not prevent conservation

  • Ecological degradation should be avoided

  • Better safe than sorry


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6-5 What Limits the Growth of Populations?

  • Concept 6-5 No population can continue to grow indefinitely because of limitations on resources and because of competition among species for those resources.


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Population Distribution

  • Clumping – most populations

  • Uniform dispersion

  • Random dispersion


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Population Dispersion


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(c) Random (dandelions)

(b) Uniform (creosote bush)

(a) Clumped (elephants)

Fig. 6-10, p. 118


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Why Clumping?

  • Resources not uniformly distributed

  • Protection of the group

  • Pack living gives some predators greater success

  • Temporary mating or young-rearing groups


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Populations Sizes Are Dynamic

  • Vary over time

    population = (births + immigration) - (deaths + emigration)

  • Age structure

    • Pre-reproductive stage

    • Reproductive stage

    • Post-reproductive stage


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Limits to Population Growth (1)

  • Biotic potential is idealized capacity for growth

  • Intrinsic rate of increase (r)

  • Nature limits population growth with resource limits and competition

  • Environmental resistance


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Limits to Population Growth (1)

  • Carrying capacity – biotic potential and environmental resistance

  • Exponential growth

  • Logistic growth


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Exponential Growth


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Environmental

resistance

Carrying capacity (K)

Population stabilizes

Population size (N)

Exponential

growth

Biotic

potential

Time (t)

Fig. 6-11, p. 119


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Logistic Growth


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Population

overshoots

carrying

capacity

Carrying capacity

Population recovers

and stabilizes

Population

runs out of

resources

and crashes

Number of sheep (millions)

Exponential

growth

Year

Fig. 6-12, p. 119


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Overshoot and Dieback

  • Population not transition smoothly from exponential to logistic growth

  • Overshoot carrying capacity of environment

  • Caused by reproductive time lag

  • Dieback, unless excess individuals switch to new resource


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Overshoot and Population Crash of Reindeer


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Population

overshoots

carrying

capacity

Population

crashes

Number of reindeer

Carrying

capacity

Year

Fig. 6-13, p. 120


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Different Reproductive Patterns

  • r-Selected species

    • High rate of population increase

    • Opportunists

  • K-selected species

    • Competitors

    • Slowly reproducing

  • Most species’ reproductive cycles between two extremes


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r- and K-selected Positions on the Sigmoid Growth Curve


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Carrying capacity

K

K species;

experience

K selection

Number of individuals

r species;

experience

r selection

Time

Fig. 6-14, p. 120


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Humans Not Except from Population Controls

  • Bubonic plague (14th century)

  • Famine in Ireland (1845)

  • AIDS

  • Technology, social, and cultural changes extended earth’s carrying capacity for humans

  • Expand indefinitely or reach carrying capacity?


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Case Study: Exploding White-tailed Deer Populations in the United States

  • 1900: population 500,000

  • 1920–30s: protection measures

  • Today: 25–30 million white-tailed deer in U.S.

  • Conflicts with people living in suburbia


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Animation: Species Diversity By Latitude

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ANIMATION


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Animation: Area and Distance Effects

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Animation: Diet of a Red Fox

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Animation: Prairie Trophic Levels

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Animation: Categories of Food Webs

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Animation: Rainforest Food Web

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Animation: Energy Flow in Silver Springs

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Animation: Prairie Food Web

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Animation: How Species Interact

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Animation: Gause’s Competition Experiment

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Animation: Succession

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Animation: Exponential Growth

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Animation: Capture-Recapture Method

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Animation: Life History Patterns

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Animation: Current and Projected Population Sizes by Region

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Animation: Demographic Transition Model

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Video: Frogs Galore

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VIDEO


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Video: Bonus for a Baby

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VIDEO


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Video: AIDS Conference in Brazil

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VIDEO


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Video: World AIDS Day

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VIDEO


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