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Chapter 55: Community Ecology (Lecture Notes)

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Kamini Persaud

Chapter 55: Community Ecology Mar 312011 What are ecological communities? An ecological community consists of all the species that live and interact in a given area Species tend to be grouped together However, different species can lives with various species, overlapping and underlying depending on the area Species are categorized based on energy source o Autotrophs o Heterotrophs Food chains are developed through food webs Most communities share the fact that they have only 3-5 trophic levels o Why? because as energy (BIOMASS) passes through different levels, some energy is lost in different ways o Most energy is held at the primary producersprimary consumerssecondary consumers o Variations of biomass depends on community What processes influence community structure? Types of Ecological interactions: 1. Predationoscillating effect (if there are more predators, extinction of prey might is common. If there are more prey and very little predators, the prey species will be over-crowded) 2. Parasitesfeed on the host without killing it 3. Competitioninfluences abundance and distribution of species; two organisms using the same resource that is insufficient to supply needs of both
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