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Chapter 15

Lecture 14 - Chapter 15.docx

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Michelle Hilscher

BIOB50 Lecture 14 Chapter 15 The Nature of CommunitiesWhat are communitiesCommunities Groups of interacting species that occur together at the same place and timeInteractions among multiple species give communities their character and functionThese interactions are synergistic meaning they make communities into something more than the sum of their partsEcologists often delineate communities by their physical or biological characteristics153 communities defined by physical or biological attributesDefined by the physical characteristics of its environment ex a physically defined community might encompass all the species in a sand dune a mountain stream or a desertA biologically defined community all species associated with a kelp forest a freshwater bog or a coral reefDifficult to account for all species in a community esp if small and relatively unknown species are consideredEcologists consider a subset of species when they define and study communitiesEcologists may use subsets of species to define communities154A One common way of subdividing a community is based on taxonomic affinity Ex all the bird species wi a forest community154B Another useful subset of a community is a guild a group of species that use the same resources even though they may be taxonomically distant Ex birds bees bats154C A functional group is a subet of a community that includes species that function in similar ways but do not necessarily use the same resources Ex mosquitoes and aphids have same stylet mouthpart155A Other subset of communities such as food webs that allow ecologists to organize species based on their trophic or energetic interactions Can be further organized into trophic levels or groups of species that have similar ways of obtaining energy The lowest level contains primary producers which are autotrophs such as plants These are fed on by primary consumers which are herbivores These are fed on by the second
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