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63 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Community Ecology
The study of distribution, abundance, demography, and interactions of communities
Multiple populations living within the same general area; use the same resources, experience similar environmental factors, and have a high likelihood of interacting.
Interspecific Interactions
Interactions of different species within a community
Interspecific Competition
Interaction between species in which resources whose abundance is not enough to support all populations are competed for; detrimental to both species (-/-)
The Competitive Exclusion Principle
Two species competing for the same limiting resources cannot coexist in the same place; however, ecologically similar species can coexist in a community if there are one or more significant differences in their niches.

G.F. Gause, Russian Ecologist, 1934
Ecological Niche
The total of species' use of the biotic and abiotic resources in its environment; the way in which the organism fits into an ecosystem
Fundamental Niche
The potential niche a species can occupy in an environment
Realized Niche
The actual niche occupied in an environment
Resource Partitioning
Differentiation of niches (via evolution by natural selection) that allows similar species to coexist
Character Displacement
The tendency for characteristics to be divergent in sympatric populations of two species than in allopatric populations of the same two species
Interaction between species in which members of one species kill and eat another; beneficial to one species, detrimental to the other (+/-)
The species that kills other species
The species killed by other species
Predator Offenses
Acute Senses
Subduing Adaptations (Claws, Teeth, Fangs, Stingers, Poison, etc.)
Agility (If pursuing prey)
Camoflague (If waiting for prey)
Prey Defenses
Fight or Flight Response
Cryptic Coloration
Aposematic Coloration
Batesian Mimicry
Mullerian Mimicry
Crypitc Coloration
Camoflague; morphological adaptation that makes prey difficult to recognize
Aposematic Coloration
Coloration of animals that have strong defenses against predators (usually chemical); will not save the individual if attacked, but will aid the population
Operant Conditioning
Modification of behaviors over time as a result of consequences of said behavior; teaches a predator to avoid certain prey while attacking others
Batesian Mimicry
The imitation of an unpalatable (harmful) species by a palatable (harmless) species; used to deceive predators operantly conditioned not to attack the unpalatable species
Mullerian Mimicry
The imitation of an unpalatable species by another unpalatable species; increases the rate at which predators experience operant conditioning
Interaction between species in which organisms feed upon other organisms but (usually) do not kill said organism; beneficial to the first organism, detrimental to the second organism (+,-)
The organism that feeds on other organism; can have signivicant effect on the survival, reproduction, and density of a host population either directly or indirectly
The parasite that is fed upon by other organisms
Parasites that live in the internal environment of their host
Parasites that live on the extertnal environment of their host
A parasitism in which parasites lay eggs within living hosts, allowing parasites to feed off the host and eventually kill it
Interaction between species in which an organism feeds on plants or algae; Beneficial to the herbivore, detrimental to the plant (+/-)
Predatory Herbivory
Herbivory in which an organism consumes the whole plant; not as common as parasitic herbivory

Ex. Seed Predators
Parasitic Herbivory
Herbivory in which an organism consumes only part of the plant; most common form of herbivory
Interaction between species in which microscopic organisms (usually bacteria, viruses, or protists, sometimes fungi or prions) infect a host organism; beneficial to the invading organism, detrimental to the host (+/-)
Organisms that cause disease in a host organism
An interaction between species that is beneficial to one species and neither beneficial nor detrimental to another (+/0)
An interaction between species that is beneficial to both species (+/+)
Reciprocal evolutionary adaptations of two interacting species
Species Diversity
The variety of organisms that make up a community; dependent upon both species richness and relative abundance
Species Richness
The total number of different species in the community
Relative Abundance
The proportion each species represents of the total individuals in a community
Trophic Structure
The feeding relationships between organisms in a community
Food Chain
A simplified (and inaccurate) model of energy flow along trophic structure
Primary Producers
Organisms in a food chain that produce their own energy; autotrophs
Primary Consumers
Organisms in a food chain that feed on primary consumers; herbivores and omnivores
Secondary Consumers
Organisms that feed on primary consumers; carnivores and omnivores
True or False: Animals only consume at one trophic level
False: Animals can consume at multiple trophic levels; thus is the reason why food chains are inaccurate
Food Web
A complex of the feeding relationships between organisms in a community; demonstrates all trophic levels of each organism
What is the highest observed number of trophic links in a food chain? The average?
Seven; Five
Energetic Hypothesis
A proposal that the length of a food chain is caused by inefficiency of energy transfer along the chain
How much energy stored in organic matter at each trophic level is passed on to the next level?
Dynamic Stability Hypothesis
A proposal that long food chains are less stable than short food chains due to population fluctuations at lower trophic levels
Dominant Species
The species in a community that are the most abundant or have the highest biomass
Invasive Species
Species introduced to a community that grow at an exponential rate
Keystone Species
Species that exert strong control over community structure due to their ecological niche
Organisms that alter the structure or dynamics that has positive effects for one or more species in a community
Bottom-Up Model
Model that revolves around unidirectional influence from lower trophic levels to higher trophic levels
Top-Down Model
Model that revolves around unidirectional influence from lower trophic levels to higher trophic levels
Modification of a community using knowledge of trophic structure to improve an environment's conditions
Nonequilibrium Model
A model describing communities that change consistently after being buffeted by disturbances
An event that changes a community through the removal of organisms and the alteration of resource availability
Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis
Disturbances of a moderate level can create can create conditions that foster greater species diversity than low or high levels of disturbance
Ecological Succession
The sucession of one species by another
Primary Succession
The colonization and succession of a lifeless area where soil has not yet formed
Secondary Succession
The colonization and succession of an area where an existing community was removed and left soil intact
Pioneer Species
The species that colonizes an area to be ecologically succeeded
What are three impacts a pioneer species can have on a succeeding species?
Facilitation - makes an environment more favorable to a species
Inhibition - resists succession of a species; succession occurs in spite of pioneer species
No Effect - Succeeding species tolerates changes made by pioneer species but is neither helped nor harmed by said changes