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Ecology

II: Communties part I


Campbell Chapter 54
Biological communities
Biological community- assemblage of
populations of various species living close
enough for potential interaction
Ecologists call relationships between
species in community interspecific
interactions examples are
competition
predation
herbivory
symbiosis (parasitism, mutualism, and
commensalism)
facilitation
Interspecific interactions can affect
survival and reproduction of each species
Effects can be summarized as positive (+),
negative (), or no effect (0)
Ecological Niche
Total of species use of biotic
and abiotic resources called
species ecological niche
Species fundamental niche is
niche potentially occupied by
that species
Species realized niche is niche
actually occupied by that species
As result of competition,
species fundamental niche may
differ from its realized niche: For
example, the presence of one
barnacle species limits the
realized niche of another species
Competition and Resource Partitioning
Competition among species can be
a strong selective pressure
Resource partitioning is
differentiation of ecological niches,
enabling similar species to coexist
in a community
Resource partitioning is a
consequence of natural selection
favoring traits in individuals
allowing them to minimize
competition.
Competition and Resource Partitioning
Evolution of differences in
morphology and resource
use as result of competition
is character displacement
Predation
Predation (+/ interaction) refers to
an interaction in which one species,
the predator, kills and eats the
other, the prey
Predation imposes a strong
selection on prey sepcies:
Behavioural defenses include hiding,
fleeing, forming herds or schools, self-
defense, and alarm calls
Animals also have morphological and
physiological defense adaptations
Predation
Animals with effective
chemical defense often
exhibit aposematic
colouration
Predators particularly
cautious in dealing with prey
with such colouration
Predation
In some cases, prey species
may gain significant protection
by mimicking appearance of
another species
Batesian mimicry, a harmless
species mimics harmful one
Mllerian mimicry, two or
more unpalatable species
resemble each other
Herbivory
Herbivory (+/
interaction) refers to
interaction in which
herbivore eats parts of
plant or alga
Leads to evolution of
plant mechanical and
chemical defenses and
adaptations by
herbivores
Herbivory
Parasitism
Symbiosis is a relationship where two
or more species live in direct and
intimate contact with one another
In parasitism (+/ interaction),
parasite derives nourishment from
host, which is harmed in process
Parasites that live within body of their
host endoparasites
Parasites that live on external surface
of a host ectoparasites
Many parasites have complex life
cycle involving number of hosts
Some parasites change behaviour of
host in way that increases parasites
fitness
Parasitism
Parasitism
Mutualism
Mutualistic symbiosis, or
mutualism (+/+ interaction),
interspecific interaction that
benefits both species
Mutualism can be
Obligate, where one
species cannot survive
without other
Facultative, where both
species can survive alone
Mutualism

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Mutualistic fungi: Mycorrhizae
Mycorrhizae: mutualistic symbiosis between fungi and plant roots
5000 known mycorhizzal fungi forming associations with 2000 plants
species
90% of plant species form mycorrhizal associations
Fungus uptake nutrients and minerals for the plant and provide
defenses against some pathogens
Plant provide sugars to the fungus
Some plants need to form mycorrhizae to grow normally
The evolution and success of flowering plants is partly due to the
mycorrhizal associations
Facilitation
Facilitation (+/+ or
0/+) interaction in
which one species
positively effects
another species
without direct contact
Black rush makes
soil more hospitable
for other plant
species