Lecture 7 - Community Ecology I Basic Patterns and...

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Community Ecology
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I. Basic Patterns and Elementary Processes Population ecology focuses on patterns and processes of single species groups of individuals But… Any individual or population does not exist in isolation but exists as an integrated component within a complex ecological whole.
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A. Community Ecology Defined One level in the hierarchical levels of organization in Ecology.
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A. Community Ecology Defined Most definitions include idea of collection of species found in a particular place. Whitaker (1975) – Assemblage of populations that live in environment and interact, forming a distinctive living system with its own composition, structure, environmental relations, development and function.
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A. Community Ecology Defined Ricklefs (1990) associations of animals and plants that are spatially delimited and that are dominated by one or more prominent species or by physical characteristics. Does not emphasize interactions
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A. Community Ecology Defined Elton (1927) closely knit society or community similar to our own. Emphasizes roles of species
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A. Community Ecology Defined Community: the all inclusive entirety of the biotic elements of an ecosystem: an interactive assemblage of species occurring together within a particular geographic area, a set of species whose ecological function and dynamics are in some way interdependent.
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A. Community Ecology Defined Not a flat mosaic of co-occurring species but as a dynamic interactive system of interdependent populations
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A. Community Ecology Defined Parameters that define it Composition – the spp present and their relative abundance Nature and Form of Relationship – direction, relative strength, and impact of those relationships Dynamics – its flux in both time and space
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A. Community Ecology Defined Community Classification 1. Physically defined community – defined by discrete habitat boundaries Includes assemblages of species in particular habitat or place Lakes, ponds, rotting fruit etc. Biomes also example
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