Species Interactions


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A detailed examination of coevolutionary relationships--competition, predation, parasitism, comMensalism, and mutualism.

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  • Figure 4.5: Specialized feeding niches of various bird species in a coastal wetland. This specialization reduces competition and allows sharing of limited resources.
  • Figure 6.4: Sharing the wealth: resource partitioning of five species of insect-eating warblers in the spruce forests of the U.S. state of Maine. Each species minimizes competition for food with the others by spending at least half its feeding time in a distinct portion (shaded areas) of the spruce trees, and by consuming somewhat different insect species. (After R. H. MacArthur, “Population Ecology of Some Warblers in Northeastern Coniferous Forests,” Ecology 36 (1958): 533–536)
  • Species Interactions

    1. 1. Species Interactions in Communities A good look at coevolution at work in our world…
    2. 2. Types of Interactions (type of impact on each species in parentheses) <ul><li>Competition ( - , - ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interspecific vs. intraspecific </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Predation ( + , - ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>carnivory or herbivory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Parasitism (+ , - ) </li></ul><ul><li>Commensalism ( + , 0 ) </li></ul><ul><li>Mutualism ( + , + ) </li></ul><ul><li>Amensalism ( - , 0 ) </li></ul>
    3. 3. The Competitive Exclusion Principle <ul><li>If two species, with the same niche , coexist in the same ecosystem, then one will be excluded from the community due to intense competition </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>both species suffer so ( -, - ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>losers usually migrate or die </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>this leads to resource partitioning and species assume smaller realized niches since they cannot occupy their full fundamental niches </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Impacts of Competition Species B
    5. 5. Fig. 4-5, p. 68 Louisiana heron wades into water to seize small fish Black skimmer seizes small fish at water surface Ruddy turnstone searches under shells and pebbles for small invertebrates Avocet sweeps bill through mud and surface water in search of small crustaceans, insects, and seeds Brown pelican dives for fish, which it locates from the air Dowitcher probes deeply into mud in search of snails, marine worms, and small crustaceans Herring gull is a tireless scavenger Flamingo feeds on minute organisms in mud Scaup and other diving ducks feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic vegetation Piping plover feeds on insects and tiny crustaceans on sandy beaches Knot (sandpiper) picks up worms and small crustaceans left by receding tide Oystercatcher feeds on clams, mussels, and other shellfish into which it pries its narrow beak Resource Partitioning Environmental Science: Problems, Concepts, and Solutions. (12th ed.) by G. Tyler Miller, Jr. and Scott Spoolman
    6. 6. Fig. 6-4, p. 112 Cape May Warbler Blakburnian Warbler Black-throated Green Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler Bay-breasted Warbler Resource Partitioning Environmental Science: Problems, Concepts, and Solutions. (12th ed.) by G. Tyler Miller, Jr. and Scott Spoolman
    7. 7. Purple Martin & Starling <ul><li>Inter specific competition </li></ul><ul><li>Starlings tend to fight off Martins, kill nestlings, and break their eggs </li></ul>
    8. 8. Red & Grey Squirrels <ul><li>Inter specific competition </li></ul><ul><li>The Grey Squirrel ( Sciurus carolinensis ) was introduced to Britain in about 30 sites between 1876 and 1929. It has easily adapted to parks and gardens replacing the red squirrel. </li></ul><ul><li>The Red Squirrel ( Sciurus vulgaris ) is native to Britain but its population has declined due to competitive exclusion, disease and the disappearance mature conifer forests in lowland Britain. </li></ul>Grey Squirrel Range Red Squirrel Range Maps prepared by the Biological Records Centre, CEH Monks Wood, from records collated by the Mammal Society and others mainly between 1965 and 1993, also including earlier, published records and a few additions up to 1997.
    9. 9. Africanized & European HB <ul><li>Inter specific competition </li></ul><ul><li>AHB mature faster and are more opportunistic feeders </li></ul>
    10. 10. Spread of AHB (also good example of a nonnative species)
    11. 11. Speaking of Bees… <ul><li>EHB larvae with a parasitic mite on it </li></ul><ul><li>Host = EHB </li></ul><ul><li>Parasite = mite </li></ul><ul><li>Example of ecto parasite </li></ul>
    12. 12. Elk and Liver Fluke <ul><li>Parasitism </li></ul><ul><li>Elk = host </li></ul><ul><li>Fluke = parasite </li></ul><ul><li>Example of an endo parasite </li></ul>
    13. 13. Liver Fluke Life Cycle <ul><li>Many endoparasites may have a cyst form or occupy intermediate hosts that they may not harm… </li></ul>
    14. 14. Impacts of Predation
    15. 15. Lion & Zebra <ul><li>Carnivory predation </li></ul><ul><li>Zebra-prey </li></ul><ul><li>Lions-predator </li></ul><ul><li>* While individual zebras are harmed, the prey population benefits by loss of old and sick members </li></ul>
    16. 16. Rough-Skinned Newt & Common Garter Snake <ul><li>Carnivory predation </li></ul><ul><li>Newt-prey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has genes to produce potent toxins which discourage predation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Snake-predator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has genes for resistance to newt toxin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>* Results in an “evolutionary arms race”… coevolution ! </li></ul>
    17. 17. Monarch Butterfly & Milkweed <ul><li>Herbivory predation </li></ul><ul><li>Milkweed-prey (defense) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Latex: A milky white sap that becomes sticky and coagulates when exposed to air. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cardiac glycoside : To various degrees, it is toxic to herbivores with hearts (birds and mammals). Monarchs and several other arthropods that eat milkweed have a tolerance for cardiac glycosides, although evidently not at the high levels found in some milkweed species. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Butterfly-predator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monarch larve cut the petiole of the leaf before beginning to eat it. This &quot;leaf-notching&quot; behavior cuts off the supply of latex. </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Commensalism vs. Mutualism How do you decide?
    19. 19. Shark & Remora <ul><li>Commensalism or mutualism? </li></ul><ul><li>Depends… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If remora gets transport, protection and scraps and shark nothing ( +, 0 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If shark has parasites removed by remora ( +, + ) </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Oak & Mycorrhizae Fungi <ul><li>Mutualism </li></ul><ul><li>Oak tree provides sugars for fungi </li></ul><ul><li>Fungi absorbs moisture and nutrients for tree </li></ul>
    21. 21. Lichen (algae & fungus) <ul><li>Tricky? </li></ul><ul><li>Mutualism (self) </li></ul><ul><li>Commensalism (with living tree) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Eastern Lamp Mussel & Largemouth Bass Commensalism: Glochidia (larvae) live on fish gills for about a month…
    23. 23. Speaking of Eastern Lamp Mussels… <ul><li>Carnivory predation by herons </li></ul>
    24. 24. More on Eastern Lamp Mussels… <ul><li>Inter specific competition with Zebra Mussels </li></ul><ul><li>Zebra Mussels are also nonnatives from Europe that arrived in ship’s ballast tanks </li></ul>
    25. 25. Spread of Zebra Mussels (good example of a accidentally introduced nonnative species)
    26. 26. Epiphytes and Trees <ul><li>Spanish Moss </li></ul><ul><li>Commensalism </li></ul><ul><li>Epiphyte roots on bark and has better access to light and water--no harm to tree </li></ul>
    27. 27. More Epiphytes… <ul><li>A common site on tropical or temperate rain forest trees </li></ul>
    28. 28. Humans and E. coli Bacteria <ul><li>Mutualism </li></ul><ul><li>Humans provide food and shelter (large intestine) for the bacteria </li></ul><ul><li>E. coli assist in human digestion and provide Vitamin K for host </li></ul>
    29. 29. Quiz Time
    30. 30. You decide! <ul><li>Herbivory predation </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>Mutualism? </li></ul><ul><li>MUTUALISM! </li></ul>
    31. 31. You decide! <ul><li>Easy? </li></ul><ul><li>HERBIVORY PREDATION! </li></ul>
    32. 32. You decide! <ul><li>A hermit crab with an anemone attached to the shell… </li></ul><ul><li>MUTUALISM! </li></ul>
    33. 33. You decide! <ul><li>A Tobacco Hornworm covered with wasp pupae… </li></ul><ul><li>ECTOPARASITE! </li></ul>Adult: Carolina Sphinx Moth
    34. 34. You decide! <ul><li>Mistletoe? </li></ul><ul><li>ECTOPARASITE! </li></ul>
    35. 35. One More…
    36. 36. Ammensalism <ul><li>One species is hurt, but the other does not benefit ( -, 0 ) </li></ul><ul><li>No apparent coevolutionary relationship (one way process) </li></ul><ul><li>Example: As wild pigs forage, they often disturb the upper layer of soil and many organisms may be taken from their burrows and exposed to predation by the action of the pigs, although the harm that the burrowers suffer does not improve the pig's situation at all. </li></ul>
    37. 37. Black Walnut & Azalea <ul><li>Example of alleopathy (not in your text) </li></ul><ul><li>Black Walnut secretes chemical (juglone) that inhibits growth of other plants like azalea </li></ul><ul><li>Could be ammensalism, competition, or avoidance of predation? </li></ul>
    38. 38. So…species must: <ul><li>Adapt (in other words, coevolve due to competition, predation, or develop symbiosis) </li></ul><ul><li>Migrate (run away) </li></ul><ul><li>Die (go extinct) </li></ul>