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Ecology: Species Interaction
Transcript of Ecology: Species Interaction
Competition can occur when resources are limited. Competitive interactions can take place among members of the same species (intraspecific competition), or among members of two or more different species (interspecific competition).
Several types of interactions are exploitative. Exploitation occurs when one member of an interaction exploits another for its own gain.
Ecological Communities: energy passes among trophic levels. As organisms feed on one another, energy moves through the community, from one rank in the feeding hierarchy, or trophic level, to another.
Producers include terrestrial green plants, cyanobacteria, and algae, and all of them capture solar energy and use photosynthesis to produce sugars.
Primary consumers eat plants and are also called herbivores.
Secondary and tertiary consumers are carnivores because they eat animals.
Detritivores and decomposers consume nonliving organic matter
Energy, biomass, and numbers decrease at higher trophic levels. At each trophic level, most of the energy that organisms use is lost through respiration.
A keystone species is a species that has a particularly strong or far-reaching impact.
An invasive species is a non-native organism that arrives in a community from elsewhere, spreads, and becomes dominant, with the potential to substantially alter a community.
Succession follows severe disturbance.
A biome is a major regional complex of similar communities.
Climate influences the locations of biomes.
We can divide the world into roughly 10 terrestrial biomes.
Aquatic and coastal systems also show biome-like patterns. One might consider the shallows along the world’s coastlines to represent one aquatic system, the continental shelves another, and the open ocean, deep sea, coral reefs, and kelp forests as still other distinct sets of communities.
Altitude creates patterns analogous to latitude.
•When zebra mussels first invaded the Great Lakes, people feared that fish populations would decrease as the mussels consumed large quantities of the phytoplankton and zooplankton needed by the fish as food.
•However, after 15 years there is no solid evidence that fish populations have been harmed.
•Hypothesis: Introduction of the zebra mussels will harm open-water fish populations, but will benefit nearshore feeding fish. Open-water fish species will decrease in number and size, and will shift away from zebra mussel populations to the saltier water downriver.
•Hypothesis: Nearshore fish species will increase in population and size, and will shift upriver toward zebra mussel populations.
• In the 1990s, sea otter populations decreased dramatically off Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.
• Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz believed that increased mortality was the cause for the population decrease.
• They proposed that as the historic prey of the orcas—the great whales—became extremely scarce due to industrial whaling.
• Due to greater competition between orcas, for food, some began switching their main food sources to smaller and less-favorable food sources such as the sea otter.
Determining Zebra Mussels’ Impacts on Fish Communities
Otters, Urchins, Kelp, and a Whale of a Chain Reaction