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Lesson 23

Niches and Community Interactions
by

Lori Richardson

on 13 April 2015

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Transcript of Lesson 23

Lesson 23 - Building An Ecosystem
What is a niche?
The range of physical and biological conditions in which a species lives and the way the species obtains what it needs to survive and reproduce.
What is this alligator's niche?
Tolerance
Every species has its own range of tolerance, the ability to survive and reproduce under a range of environmental circumstances.
Organisms have an upper and lower limit of tolerance for every environmental factor. Beyond those limits, the organism cannot survive.
A species’ tolerance for environmental conditions, then, helps determine its habitat—the general place where an organism lives.
An organism’s niche describes not only the environment where it lives, but how it interacts with biotic and abiotic factors in the environment.
Resources
The term resource can refer to any necessity of life, such as water, nutrients, light, food, or space.
What resources (biotic and abiotic) do the sunflowers need?
How is that different than the resources a shark needs (biotic and abiotic)?
Competition
Competition occurs when organisms attempt to use the same limited ecological resource in the same place at the same time.
Animals compete for resources such as food, mates, and places to live and raise their young.
Competition can occur both between members of the same species (known as intraspecific competition) and between members of different species (known as interspecific competition).
The Competitive
Exclusion Principle
No two species can occupy exactly the same niche in exactly the same habitat at exactly the same time.
If two species attempt to occupy the same niche, one species will be better at competing for limited resources and will eventually exclude the other species.
Dividing Resources
Instead of competing for similar resources, species usually divide them.
Predation, Herbivory,
and Keystone Species
An interaction in which one animal (the predator) captures and feeds on another animal (the prey) is called predation.
Predators can affect the size of prey populations in a community and determine the places prey can live and feed.
Herbivore-Plant
Relationships
An interaction in which one animal (the herbivore) feeds on producers (such as plants) is called herbivory.
Keystone Species
Sometimes changes in the population of a single species, often called a keystone species, can cause dramatic changes in the structure of a community.
Symbioses
Any relationship in which two species live closely together is called symbiosis, which means “living together.”
Mutualism
The kind of relationship between species in which both benefit
Parasitism
A relationship in which one organism lives inside or on another organism and harms it.
Commensalism
A relationship in which one organism benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed.
Niches and Community Interactions
Full transcript