Community Ecology II-PRS-1

Community Ecology II-PRS-1 - Georgia Tech School of Biology...

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Georgia Tech School of Biology Fall 2008 Biology 1510/1511 Community Ecology
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Georgia Tech School of Biology Fall 2008 Biology 1510/1511 Keystone Species - the most abundant species do not always have the largest effect on the community Rocky intertidal zones are potential homes to a diverse array of species These species include algae, filter feeder, grazers, and predators Competition for space is intense
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Georgia Tech School of Biology Fall 2008 Biology 1510/1511 Look at the following graph. Robert Paine removed Pisaster , an uncommon starfish, and measured species diversity. He found species diversity dropped dramatically when Pisaster was not present. From this, we can conclude that A.) uncommon species are more important than common species. B.) predators are more important than prey. C.) Pisaster probably preferred to consume the dominant competitors. D.) Robert Paine’s experiment was poorly designed. E.) removing one species always hurts the community.
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Georgia Tech School of Biology Fall 2008 Biology 1510/1511 Keystone Species - What happens if you remove a predator? Pisaster prefers mussels
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Georgia Tech School of Biology Fall 2008 Biology 1510/1511 Patterns of species richness - ~1.4 million species have been identified - these species are not evenly distributed across the Earth’s surface - some communities and ecosystems are characterized by containing an exceptionally large number of species - patterns in species richness have been detected, but the reason(s) remains elusive
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Georgia Tech School of Biology Fall 2008 Biology 1510/1511 A general pattern Similar habitats and ecosystems show an increase in species near the equator Species richness declines as latitude increases (going North, or South, from the equator Relationship holds for terrestrial, aquatic and marine systems, and for many different taxa of organisms
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Georgia Tech School of Biology Fall 2008 Biology 1510/1511 Where is diversity highest? pattern similar for trees and birds
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Fall 2008 Biology 1510/1511 Input = output The equator receives more energy/ area than higher latitudes This translates to higher primary productivity More plants = more species? Why? habitat complexity, # of niches
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Community Ecology II-PRS-1 - Georgia Tech School of Biology...

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