EEB 3408W Lecture 15: ecology 15

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Ecology, Evolution, and Behav
EEB 3408W
Cavender- Bares, Jeannine

Communities, niches and diversity - Community - an association of actually or potentially interacting populations living in the same place - Also defined by the organisms and the interactions under investigation at a spatial scale relevant to the questions asked - Filters in community = the ecological forces that influence community members - Dispersal filter = does the species arrive in the location - habitat/ environmental filter = can a species tolerate the abiotic environment - Internal filter = can species compete for resources well enough (survive predation / pathogens / biotic interactions) - Holdridge life zones = large scale climatic patterns - To what extent does climate dictat vegetation and the nature of the plant and animal community - Nature solves problems in similar ways as plants Nature of communities - Frederic Clements - community = a sort of superorganisms whose member species were tightly bound together because of evolutionary histor - “Climax” community = idealized endpoint of succession - Conceptual starting point for describing vegetation in an area - Define an ideal form of vegetation and describes other forms as deviations from that ideal - Communities always develop to a climax equilibrium which depends on climatic, edaphic and cannot be attained because of disturbance - Henry Gleason - individualistic concept of community - Species coexist in space and time is coincidental because of similarities in resource needs - Open communities (new ones) may seem more Gleason while close communities may seem more Clements - Lucy Braun - communities viewed in a larger context - She documented the composition and extent of forests in different locations to trace development - Wanted to understand the evolution of communities in a geological and paleobotanical context - Robert Whittaker - plant species dist
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