10-27-09 - Biology 330 Class Notes 10/27/09 COMMUNITIES...

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Biology 330 – Class Notes – 10/27/09 COMMUNITIES Community ecologists - looking at clusters of species Community - a number of populations that interact Example: Community of a wetland, rotten log, birchwood forest of northern New England, etc. Within a community, there will be a density of organisms and dispersed in a variety of ways emergent properties --> properties like biogeochemistry, properties that are emergent of the community rather than the individual components of the community. How to approach this: - Look at every possible pairwise interaction within a community In other words, you could like at predator-prey interactions Community that is comprised of only 20 species, you have to look at 380 coefficients (alpha, beta, etc.) Clements and Glenson defined what a community was Completely OPPOSITE views of how a community operated These two views are fought over Clements – the species within a community have a long coevolutionary history these species in the same community have been in the same environment As a consequence of a long coevolutionary history, if there is a strong competing interaction between two species, one of those two species would have died out o Only species that have strongly coevolved A community would NOT be made up of a vulnerable prey and predator the prey item would have improved its escape success to minimize the predator-prey interaction As a result of this long history, Since these two species persist, they have figured out a way to persist to minimize the negative effect of the competitive interaction by now The community functions as a quasi-organism to the extent that each species has a job to do each species does something that contributes to the community METAPHOR
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o Removing a species or guild of species (species that do the same job) it is as though you are removing an entire organ from the organism REINFORCING EVIDENCE FOR HIS VIEW: Certain species always seem to occur together and sharp breaks between communities of different types
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10-27-09 - Biology 330 Class Notes 10/27/09 COMMUNITIES...

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