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Unit 3: Community Ecology

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Nicole Martin

on 26 October 2016

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Transcript of Unit 3: Community Ecology


Unit 3
What are the different ways species within an ecosystem interact?
Essential Question
What are the different types of interactions with an ecosystem, and what factors can harm their balance?
Community Ecology
Study of the interactions between species in communities.
Ecological niches
Species relationships
Non-native species
Any interaction between two organisms in which one organism (the
) consumes all or part of another organism (the

Herbivore-Plant Interactions
An herbivore grazing on a plant is another example of predation.

Usually, only part of the prey is eaten by the predator.

Aquatic Example
Prey Defenses
Predation usually results in the evolution of defensive adaptations in prey.

Photo Credit: Rhett A. Butler @ mongabay.com

Photo Credit: Rhett A. Butler @ mongabay.com

These can include
Chemical defenses
(toxins, poison, acrid sprays)

(living in groups, scouts, alarm calls)

Morphological Features
(spines, color, structures that allow you to run fast or detect predators), and other traits
Behavioral Defense
Protective coloration in which an animal resembles its background.

From: National Geographic
When one species imitates another species for protection.
The Monarch is poisonous, the Viceroy is not.
Interaction between two organisms that are using the same limited resource.
within the same species
between different species
Competition for FOOD
Bigger & stronger win out.
More attractive win out.
Competition for MATES
Relationship in which at least one species depends upon the relationship to survive.

There are THREE TYPES!
Both partners benefit from the relationship
(+ / +)
One partner benefits from the relationship; the other partner is not affected
(+ / 0)
One partner benefits from the relationship; the other partner is harmed
(+ / -)
The Cuckoo Bird... an avian parasite
Species Relationship Matchup Practice
Find the matching cards & determine the species relationship!
Types of Species
r-selected Species
Many small offspring
Little or no parental care and protection of offspring
Early reproductive age
Most offspring die before reaching reproductive age
Small adults
Adapted to unstable climate and environmental conditions
High population growth rate (r)

The ultimate r-selected species
Appeared 350mya
Can eat almost anything
Can go months without food, water
Can withstand radiation
10 million offspring per year
Carry viruses
k-selected Species
Fewer, larger offspring
High parental care and protection of offspring
Later reproductive age
Most offspring survive to reproductive age
Adapted to stable climate and environmental conditions
Larger adults
Lower population growth rate (r)

The Giant Panda
Specialized & Endangered
Feeds exclusively on bamboo
Only 1 cub per year
Picky about mates
Offspring are helpless and require years of care

Poaching & habitat fragmentation are threatening this species!
Exit Ticket
How can the introduction of a NEW species into one of these ecosystems disrupt the community dynamics?
Full transcript