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Introduction To Communities . Communities. It is rare in the environment that a species will exist in a population Normally there are other living factors that are in the environment. Communities. Remember that communities are all of the collective organisms in a given area

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  • It is rare in the environment that a species will exist in a population
  • Normally there are other living factors that are in the environment
  • Remember that communities are all of the collective organisms in a given area
  • Understanding how these organisms interact with each other can drastically affect the way that each organism survives
  • There are 6 basic interactions between different organisms in a population
    • Predation
    • Herbivory
    • Competition
    • Mutualism
    • Commensalism
    • Parasitism
  • Now it is time to explore the relationships between organisms
  • One way that a community can interact is through predation and herbivory
  • In predation, one species will eat all or some of another species
  • Most people often think that predators are animals that eat other animals
  • However, predators can be herbivores
  • Herbivores eat other organisms and should therefore be considered predators
  • Any organism that is eaten is considered prey
  • Prey organisms often spend a large amount of their life trying to avoid predation
predator adaptations
Predator Adaptations
  • Predators that happen to be the best suited to find and consume their prey are the ones that survive
  • Rattlesnakes are animals that have an excellent set of adaptive advantages that influence prey
predator adaptations1
Predator Adaptations
  • Rattlesnakes have an excellent sense of smell which they use to find their prey
  • Rattlesnakes also have a very strong venom that can be injected into prey animals
  • The jaw of the rattlesnakes can unhinge in order to eat large prey
predator adaptations2
Predator Adaptations
  • A humming bird is a well adapted predator
  • A humming bird consumes the nectar of plants
  • It can beat its wings 10 to 15 times a second
  • It can also hover in mid air to drink nectar from flowers
adaptations in animal prey
Adaptations in Animal Prey
  • Prey animals may do one of many things when a predator approaches
  • There goal is to not be eaten
  • They will use what ever natural abilities they have in order to survive
adaptations in animal prey1
Adaptations in Animal Prey
  • Some animals run and hide as fast as they can
  • These animals are built for speed and agility
  • As long as the prey animal is faster or more agile then the predator they should be able to survive
adaptations in animal prey2
Adaptations in Animal Prey
  • Some animals have false markings or spots that will confuse a predator
  • The predator might get confused when there is a large group of an animal and not be able to pick out one
  • Sometimes the markings resemble extra eyes or heads so the predator does not know where the animal is facing
adaptations in animal prey3
Adaptations in Animal Prey
  • Some animals hide in plain sight
  • These animals often try to resemble an object that is inedible
  • They display a form of camouflage that makes them look like their surroundings
adaptations in animal prey4
Adaptations in Animal Prey
  • Some animals have chemical defenses
  • These defenses can taste or smell terrible or can be deadly
  • These organisms often have distinct markings and bright colors that let predators know they have chemical defenses
adaptations in animal prey5
Adaptations in Animal Prey
  • The final strategy is the mimic a much more deadly animal
  • Mimicry is when the prey animal will mimic the look of an animal that can defend itself from predators
  • When a predator sees the animal it will not want to attack it
adaptations in animal prey6
Adaptations in Animal Prey
adaptations in plant prey
Adaptations in Plant Prey
  • Plant prey organisms have to defend themselves differently
  • Plant prey organisms cannot run from their predators so they normally have different defenses
adaptations in plant prey1
Adaptations in Plant Prey
  • Some plants develop physical defenses
  • These defenses are normally spines, needles, thorns or sticky leaves
  • These prevent animals from eating them or attempting to get too close to them
adaptations in plant prey2
Adaptations in Plant Prey
  • Plants have also developed a variety of chemical defenses
  • These can be a poisonous sap, bad tasteor irritating rash
  • These plants are often avoided by predators because of the side effects of eating them
adaptations in plant prey3
Adaptations in Plant Prey
  • Competition may be a good thing on a soccer field
  • Generally it brings out the best in two organisms that are competing for a starting spot
  • However it works quite differently in the wild
  • Interspecific competition is when two different species compete for the same limited resource
  • Since resources are limited two different species will compete for the resources

  • Lions and Hyenas often will compete for the same prey
  • Because there are a limited amount of Wildebeests and Zebras Lions and Hyenas will compete over who gets to eat them
competitive exclusion
Competitive Exclusion
  • Competitive exclusion is when one species uses a limited resource much more effectively than another species
  • When this happens, the one species that uses the limited resources more effectively will survive and prosper
  • The species that does not use the resource as effectively will have drastically lower numbers and my even die out
competitive exclusion1
Competitive Exclusion
  • We can see competitive exclusion If we put two different type of bacteria in a test tube that share the same niche
  • After a small amount of time we will see one bacteria have a much higher population
  • The other bacteria will have a much lower population and will possibly be extinct
niche size
Niche Size
  • A niche is an organisms role in its environment
  • Many different types of organisms can fill different roles in the environment basted on what they do, where they live and when they are active
niche size1
Niche Size
  • An organism’s niche can be broken up into more manageable chunks
  • A fundamental niche is the complete range of environments that an organism can live in
  • A realized niche is the part of the niche that the species generally use
character displacement
Character Displacement
  • It is better for predators to be different from one another
  • If they share too much of the same niche, the predators have a chance of being out competed through competitive exclusion
character displacement1
Character Displacement
  • The finches that live on the Galapagos Islands are an excellent example
  • They are all Finches but they all have different beaks they help them do different things
  • They do not share the same realized niche
character displacement2
Character Displacement
  • The less similarities among a community, the less chance that a species will die out
  • The process of predators changing over a period of time is called character displacement
resource partitioning
Resource Partitioning
  • Some predators are in the same area and competing for the same food
  • When they compete for the same food, it is important to consider where the resources are being used
  • The differences in location between where predators hunt for a similar resources is called resource partitioning
resource partitioning1
Resource Partitioning
  • The actual separation of the species makes a more defined realized niche
  • All of these species are eating a particular type of bug out of a particular tree
  • However, they are hunting in a different area
  • When groupings of organisms are in a close proximity for a long time they can develop relationships
  • Symbiosis is a long term relationship between two different species
  • There are three different types of symbiosis
  • There are
    • Parasitism
    • Mutualism
    • Commensalism
  • These three describe what happens when organisms are develop a close relationship
  • Remember that all three of these share some basic qualities, however they all affect different species in different ways
  • These different interactions can be good or bad for the species involved
  • Not all relationships are beneficial to all parties involved
  • Sometimes there are two organisms in a relationship where only one gains a benefit and one is harmed
  • Parasitism is when one organism (host) is harmed and one organism (parasite) gains a benefit without immediately killing the host
  • Parasites can attack a host in a variety of ways
  • When parasites attempt to harm another organism from the outside of the body they are called ectoparasites
  • Good examples of this are fleas, leeches, aphids and ticks
  • Parasites that live inside of the host are called endoparasites
  • These parasites live inside of their host in the various organs of the body
  • Examples of this are heartworms, disease causing protistsand tapeworms
  • Not all close relationships are negative
  • When both organisms gain some sort of benefit out of a relationship it is called mutualism
  • This beneficial relationship is seen many places in nature
  • Probably the most important mutualistic relationship on Earth is between bees and flowers
  • Flowers provide food for bees in the form of nectar or pollen
  • Bees carry the reproductive materials for the flower from plant to plant
  • This allows them to reproduce
  • Sometimes some organisms have an affect on another organism without a benefit to themselves
  • Commensalism is when one organism benefits and one organism has not affected
  • Scavengers are good examples of organisms that have commensalism relationships
  • A good example of this is water buffalo and cattle egrets
  • When water buffalo move around as a herd they often scare many bugs, small mammals and small lizards
  • The cattle egrets follow the buffalo and eat the small animals they scare
types of organisms
Types of Organisms
  • Most plants create glucose from the sun in a process called photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis makes up the largest part of the food web because there are many more producers than consumers in any food web
  • There are rare food webs where photosynthesis does not make up the production level of the food web
types of organisms1
Types of Organisms
  • There are a very wide variety of organisms that are consumers
  • As small as a bacteria and as large as a whale
  • All consumers are heterotrophs
  • Less predominant than producers
types of organisms2
Types of Organisms
  • Dead plant material, fecal wastes and dead animal bodies make up a large amount of energy
  • That energy can be used by Detritus Feeders
types of organisms3
Types of Organisms
  • Decomposers are a particularly important group of detritus feeders
  • Decomposers are animals that “rot” dead organic matter
    • Bacteria and fungi make up this group
trophic relationships
Trophic Relationships
  • All food levels on the trophic levels are interconnected
  • The different levels in the food web are called trophic levels
  • Trophic refers to food or feeding
trophic relationships1
Trophic Relationships
  • In a food web there are normally no more than three or four levels
  • This is because there are different levels in biomass
  • Biomass is a measurement of the weight of all the organisms at a particular step in the food web
trophic relationships2
Trophic Relationships
  • The amount of biomass can often be represented by a trophic pyramid
  • This is a visual representation of the amount of biomass in a system
  • Only ~10% of the biomass (or energy) in a level of the biomass pyramid is transferred to the next level
trophic relationships3
Trophic Relationships
  • This is because much of the energy consumed from an organism cannot be absorbed
  • Out of the energy that is absorbed, around two thirds of it is used in cellular respiration
  • The remaining energy is used for growth, reproduction and production