Ecological relationships
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Ecological Relationships. Reflection question using this picture: What are some components within an ecosystem? How is an ecosystem different than a community?. What is an ecosystem?. – a community and its abiotic factors. What is a community?.

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Ecological Relationships

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Ecological Relationships

Reflection question using this picture:What are some components withinan ecosystem?How is an ecosystem different than a community?

What is an ecosystem?

– a community and its abiotic factors

What is a community?

a group of populations that are living and interacting with one another. They are interdependent (depend on one another)

  • a group of organisms of the same species that live in the same area

What is a population?

Communities are the building blocks of ecosystems

Do you remember what an abiotic factor is?


Within Communities

Biodiversity = the number of species in an ecosystem

Crucial to ecosystem productivity

Territory = space claimed by an individual organism

Required by all living things

Ecological Equilibrium = state of “balance” in an ecosystem

Ecological Relationships

The role in their habitat

Ex: Fox helps control small animal populations.

- an Ecological relationship is a relationship between animals and their habitat

A niche is the sum of all activities and relationships a species has while obtaining and using resources needed to survive and reproduce

  • NICHE – an organism’s “role” in an ecosystem (job)

  • NICHE DIVERSITY– Number of niches in an ecosystem; often determined by abiotic factors

1. Competition:

When species or individuals “fight” for the same resources.

E.g., Food, shelter….

KEYSTONE PREDATOR/SPECIES -A predator that causes a large increase in diversity of its habitat.

The “fight” may be indirect … individuals may never directly contact each other.

Losing a keystone species usually disrupts many ecological relationships.

Two species with similar needs for same limited resources cannot coexist.


A primary consumer feeds on a producer.

2. Feeding Relationships

A fruit bat eating a papaya

A woodchuck eating wild clover

2. Feeding Relationships

Predation: actively hunting your food source (carnivory)

A lion eating zebra.

  • A consumer feeds on another consumer.

An eagle eating halibut.

3. Symbiosis:

  • A long-term relationship where two species live closely together and at least one benefits directly from the relationship.


  • Both organisms benefit from the relationship.

  • Win-Win situation!


  • One organism benefits, the other one is unaffected.

  • Win-Neutral relationship


  • One organism benefits, the other one is harmed!

  • Win-Lose relationship

  • Parasites rarely kill their hosts…it would require them to get another one!

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