Flash Cards

Ecology of Communities

Term Definition
Community Two or more populations of different species occupying the same geographical area
• Community Ecology The study of how different species interact within communities
• Habitat The physical place where an organism lives, e.g. a pine forest or fresh water lake.
(Some organisms, particularly migratory birds require more than one habitat)
• Niche The functional role of an organism in a community, its job or position
Potential niche What a species could do with no competitors or resource limitations
Realized niche The part of the fundamental niche that a species actually occupies in nature. (What a species really does due to competition and/or resource limitations)
• Neutral species interaction Two species that don't interact at all.
• Commensalism Beneficial to one species but neutral to another (birds that nest in trees, epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants)
• Mutualism Beneficial to both species(plants and their pollinators)
• Parasitism Benefits one species and is detrimental to another. (Note that the host is generally not killed)
• Predation Beneficial to one species and detrimental to another. In this case the prey is killed and eaten.
? Intraspecific competition Competition among individuals of the same species
? Interspecific competition Competition between different species
? The Theory of Competitive Exclusion Species who utilize the same resources cannot coexist indefinitely – the "one niche, one species" concept.
? Resource partitioning The resources are divided, permitting species with similar requirements to use the same resources in different areas, ways and/or times.

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