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Concept to Understand• Each species plays a specificecological role called its niche.
Ecological Niche• Every species occupy unique niches and play specificroles in an ecosystem
Ecological Niche• Generalist species – can live many different places,eat many things, tolerate wide variety ofenvironmental conditions▫ Examples: people, mice, cockroaches
Cockroach Information• Existed for 350 million years – 3,500 known species• Highly adapted, rapidly producing generalists▫ Consume almost anything▫ Endure food shortage▫ Survive everywhere except polar regions▫ Avoid predation• Carry human diseases
Ecological Niche• Specialist species – can only survive in very specifichabitat▫ Examples: most salamanders, giant pandas
Ecological Niche• Native species – naturally found in that ecosystem• Nonnative species – invasive, alien, exotic• Spread to new ecosystems (because of humans)• Problems:• 1. No predators• 2. Kill native specieswhich lack adaptation
Indicator Species• Indicator Species - Early warningsystem, damage to the environmentcauses this species population decline.
Keystone Species• Keystone Species - Significant role inecosystem food web: large affect on otherspecies in an ecosystem.• Ex. Algae