Community interactions

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Community interactions

  1. 1. Ecosystem Interactions Environmental Science
  2. 2. What Shapes Ecosystems <ul><li>Abiotic and Biotic Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Habitat – physical location where an organism lives </li></ul><ul><li>Niche – the use of the habitat by an organism (includes food, physical location, how it interacts with other organisms, etc.) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Species Interactions
  4. 4. Ways in Which Species Interact <ul><li>These categories are based on whether each species causes benefit or harm to the other species. </li></ul><ul><li>Other types of interactions are possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Many interactions between species are indirect, some interactions do not fit in a category clearly, and other types seem possible but are rarely found. Therefore, many interactions are neither categorized nor well studied. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Competition <ul><li>Competition – when different individuals or populations attempt to use the same resource </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within a species – food, mates, territory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Between species – food, water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Competition can occur even if the individuals never meet. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flowers competing for the same pollinators </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Community Interactions - Competition <ul><li>When members of different species compete for the same resources, we say that their niches overlap. </li></ul><ul><li>These species will divide up the resources either by time or space – called niche restriction </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. Warblers in coniferous trees will live only on certain levels of the trees </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. Diurnal v. Nocturnal insects - both need the same resources, but some are only active in the day and others at night </li></ul>
  7. 7. Community Interactions - Predation <ul><li>Predator/Prey Relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Predator – organism that hunts/kills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prey – organism that is food (e.g. cat and mouse) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sometime one predator may also be another organism’s prey </li></ul>
  8. 8. Specialists v. Generalists <ul><li>Species that eat mostly one type of prey are called specialists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Canadian Lynx and the Snowshoe Hare </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Generalists will eat whatever is easiest to find and capture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Coyotes or Wolves </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Symbiosis and Coevolution <ul><li>Symbiosis – two species who live closely together </li></ul><ul><li>Overtime, species in close relationships may coevolve . These species may evolve adaptations that reduce the harm or improve the benefit of the relationship. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mutualism <ul><li>Mutualism – symbiosis in which both organisms benefit – often each species depends on the other </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. Flowers and their pollinators </li></ul>
  11. 11. Commensalism <ul><li>Commensalism – symbiosis in which one organism benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed. </li></ul><ul><li>Even seemingly harmless activity, however, might have an effect on another species. </li></ul>Ex. Barnacles on a whale’s skin or Birds nesting in trees
  12. 12. Parasitism <ul><li>Parasitism – symbiosis in which one organism is helped and one is harmed </li></ul><ul><li>Parasite – the organism that feeds on another organism </li></ul><ul><li>Host – the organism parasite takes its nourishment from </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. Fleas and ticks </li></ul>The difference between a parasite and a predator is that a parasite does not usually kill its host.

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