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BIOL 3060U (10)


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BIOL 3060U
Peter Cheung

CHAPTER 55 COMMUNITY ECOLOGY551 WHAT ARE ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITIESSpecies that live and interact in an area constitute an ecological communityEcological communities are not assemblages of organisms that move together as units when environmental conditions change rather each species has unique interactions with its biotic and abiotic environments Organisms in a community can be divided into trophic levels based on their source of energyTrophic level consists of the organisms whose energy source has passed through the sameof steps to reach themPhotosynthesizersprimary producersAll nonphotosynthetic organisms heterotrophsconsumer either directly or indirectly the energyrich organic molecules produced by primary producersPrimary consumers eat plants constitute a trophic level called herbivoresSecondary consumers eat herbivoresDecomposers detrivores eat dead bodiesOrganisms that obtain food from more than one trophic level are omnivoresSequence of interactions in which a plant is eaten by an herbivore which is in turn eaten by a secondary consumerfood chain food webMost communities have 35 trophic levels biomass weight of living matterin most terrestrial ecosystems photosynthetic plants dominate both in terms of the energy they represent and the biomass they containmammals may consume 3040 percent of the annual aboveground grassland plant biomass insects may consume an additional 515 percent soil organisms 640 percent of the belowground biomass in grasslandsin aquatic ecosystems dominant photosynthesizers are bacteria and protistshigh rates of cell divisionpredators restrict habitat and geographic distribution of their preyaustrialian biogeographic region is home to a birds megapodes moundbuilders that dont incubate eggs lay eggs in a mound of decomposing
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