Animal Communities Factors that influence community composition: Species interactions History (biogeography) Physical environment Habitat/ vegetation Species Interactions: Competition
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Factors that influence community composition:
Shorebirds are species that migrate along the New England coast in spring and fall, but spend the breeding season in the high arctic. They feed in tidal mud- and sand flats.
The species present have differing niches. Species may differ in such niche dimensions as:
the time at which they use the habitat (temporal habitat subdivision)
the space they occupy (spatial habitat subdivision)
the substrate (mud, sand, rocks) they use
the feeding strategy they employ
In southern New England, the semipalmated sandpiper migrates primarily in late summer (August), whereas the very similar western sanpiper migrates principally in early fall (September).
The semipalmated (above) and western sandpipers are typical fall migrants on coastal sand and gravel flats (left).