Explain the link between resource partitioning

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Explain the link between resource partitioning, character displacement, and species co-existence, versus competitive exclusion, evaluating the impact of resource partitioning on the number of species that can occupy a given area. Describe why character displacement is often used as evidence of resource partitioning. [Comprehension, Analysis] Competitive exclusion principle – populations of two or more species cannot coexist indefinitely if they both reply on same resource One species will inevitably harvest resources more efficiently and produce more offspring Other species population declines, may go extinct Resource partitioning – several species living in same environment use different resources or same resources in different ways Often because one species more successful that other, so one has to resort to using resource in different way Species that is negatively affect will have reduced fundamental niche Allows coexistence of different species Character displacement – occurs when comparing species from allopatric and sympatric populations After extended period of time, resource partitioning can lead to character displacement Species can adopt new niche In extreme, undergo speciation and become new species Sympatric species morphologically different and use different resources Allopatric species morphologically similar and use similar resources
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c) Differentiate between fundamental and realized niches of a species, providing/identify an example. Niches – determined by resources population uses and environmental conditions it requires over its lifetime: food, shelter, nutrients, non-depletable abitic consitions (e.g. sunlight, temperature) Fundamental niche – range of conditions and resources that a population can possibly tolerate and use Realized niche – range of conditions and resources that a population actually uses in nature; subset of species’ fundamental niche Realized niche > fundamental niche If fundamental niche of two populations overlap, they may compete in nature J6. Describe the structure of a food web, discussing the limits to food web length ( i.e., the number of levels). Given a food web, describe the flow of energy/matter through the web, and categorize organisms within the web according the trophic level(s) they occupy. Food web – set of interconnected food chains with multiple links Primary producer – autotroph, usually photosynthetic organism, member of first trophic level Primary consumer – herbivore, member of second trophic level Secondary consumer – carnivore that feeds on herbivores, member of third trophic level • Tertiary consumer – carnivore that feeds on other carnivores, member of fourth trophic level Limit to food web length: Energy transfer becomes very inefficient after fourth trophic level Only 10% of biomass converted into useable energy at each tropic level 90% of energy is lost when transferring tropic levels through heat, respiration, feces etc.
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