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Kim Dej

October 15 , 2012 Biology 2F03: Fundamental and Applied Ecology Competition (1) Competition - resource limitations and intraspecific competition - the niche - mathematical and laboratory models produce insights - competition affects niches in ecological and evolutionary time Question - would all species have the same carrying capacity, K, when they live in the same habitat/place: no Population density, soil nitrogen, and grass size - nitrogen is a limiting nutrient for the grass S. nutans - S. nutabs was grown at high and low densities of nitrogen availability - Low densities: getting bigger as you added more nitrogen - Nitrogen liberating only if you were in low densities - Nitrogen not liberating if you grow in high densities - With N available, plants grow large when grown at low density - Okabts fail to gain size when grown at high density - Conclusion: intraspecific competition Question - if intraspecific competition matters, what would be its ecological outcome, particularly among plants? - Plants produce to many seeds to have them successfully survive, stunted, would die very easily, would not reproduce Self-thinning in plant populations - assume plants start at some density - many of the small and crowded plants die - consequence: population will move to lower density, producing healthier and stronger individuals - populations A, B, C and D all converge on a state of low density and high total biomass - start with low number: the population will move from A to large biomass - if you start at high density, plants will initially be small
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