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BIOL 208 (March 17, 2014) - Community Structure and Assembly

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University of Alberta
Biology (Biological Sciences)
James Cahill

BIOL 208: Community structure and assembly (March 17, 2014) • Community concepts and description o Dominance and diversity o Lognormal distribution o Rank abundance curves • Concepts of assembly & ecological filters o Abiotic: Environmental complexity and disturbance o Biotic: Competition, predation • Keystone species & ecosystem engineers • *Log # of survivors (for survivorship curves) on the y-axis • Final exam is: o 2 hours long o Culmulative o Approx. half of the material that is tested on will be from material learned AFTER Lecture Exam 2 • What is a community? o *Group of interacting species in some defined area and point in time  Interaction of different populations of different species • Population: group of individuals form same species o Boundary is vague… unless you are talking about a lake/pond community o Community structure is specific composition of individuals  Building blocks of species o *Community assembly are processes that determine community structure • Why care about communities? o Community Ecology is very important o *Approach of conserving one threatened/endangered species is not very effective  “Umbrella Approach”  adopted by legislation  *A better approach is to protect the community that the endangered/threatened individual is a part of.  supported by science o *Service: conservation of these organisms provides services for people  Wetlands  natural water filtration and flood prevention  Cows  economic product  Vegetation  run-off prevention  Soil  carbon storage  to raise livestock o Public health:  Ex. malaria  Ex. microbial diversity • Humans are only 10% human cells; 90% bacteria cells • “Human DNA” is only 1% human, the rest is bacterial DNA o *Univariate: only one response variable o *Multivariate: mant response variables  *A community is multivariate • Community concepts: o Frederic Clements  *Came up with concept of “Climax Community”  *“Communities are superorganisms”  predictable and orderly •
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