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Unit 3 - Chapter 5, Part 2
Interactions: Environments and Organisms
Edited by Reneau Peurifoy
Interactions: Environments and Organisms
Outline
5.3 Organism Interactions
5.4 Community and Ecosystem Interactions
Kinds of Organism Interactions
Predation
• Interaction where one animal kills/eats another.
Predator
• The organism that eats another.
• Prey
–Animal that is eaten
–adaptation - higher reproduction rate.
Competition
Competition
• Interaction where two organisms strive to obtain the same limited resource.
Intraspecific competition
• Competition between members of same species.
Interspecific competition
• Competition between members of different species.
Competition
Competitive exclusion principle
• No two species can occupy
–The same ecological niche
–In the same place
–At the same time.
• Less-fit species must
evolve into a slightly
different niche.
Symbiotic Relationships
Symbiosis
• A close, long-lasting, physical relationship between two different species.
• At least one species derives benefit from the interaction.
There are three categories of symbiotic relationships:
• Parasitism
• Commensalism
• Mutualism
Symbiotic Relationships
Parasitism
• Relationship where one organism (parasite) lives in or on another organism (host), from
which it derives nourishment.
• Ectoparasites live on the host’s surface.
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–Fleas, lice, molds, mildews
• Endoparasites live inside the body of the host.
–Tapeworms, malaria parasites, bacteria, fungi
Symbiotic Relationships
Symbiotic Relationships
Symbiotic Relationships
Commensalism
• Relationship where one organism benefits while the other is not affected.
• Remoras and sharks
Symbiotic Relationships
Mutualism
• Relationship where both species benefit.
• The relationship is obligatory in many cases
–Neither can exist without the other.
Symbiotic Relationships
• Examples of Mutualism
–Mycorrhizae (nitrogen fixer)
–Oxpecker and impala
Hard to Classify Relationships
Mosquito & tick
• Need blood but don’t kill, eat, or live on the host
Cuckoos
• Lay eggs in the nest of other birds
• Nest parasitism or brood parasitism
Human Niche
Varies in different parts of the world
• Predator, Herbivore, Scavenger
• Commensalism
–Many organisms use our homes as places to live without affecting us
• Parasitism
–Blood drawn from cows and mixed
with milk
• Mutualism
–Domestic animals & pets
Community and Ecosystem Interactions
Community
• All interacting species of organisms in an area.
Ecosystem
• A defined space in which interactions take place between a community
• Includes:
–All its complex interrelationships
–The physical environment.
Major Roles of Organisms in Ecosystems
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Three broad categories
• 1
st
– Producers:
–Use sources of energy to make complex organic molecules from simple inorganic
substances in their environment.
–Usually the Sun
–Can be chemical
–Plants, algae, phytoplankton
Major Roles of Organisms in Ecosystems
• 2
nd
– Consumers:
–Require organic matter as a source of food
–Use for energy and organic molecules necessary for growth and survival
–Consumers divided into categories based
–The things they eat
–The way they obtain food
Major Roles of Organisms in Ecosystems
–Three consumer categories:
–Primary consumers
»Herbivores - eat plants as a source of food.
–Secondary consumers
»Carnivores - animals that eat other animals.
–Omnivores
»Consume both plants and animals.
Major Roles of Organisms in Ecosystems
• 3
rd
– Decomposers:
–Use nonliving organic matter as a source of energy and raw materials to build their
bodies.
–Many small animals
–Bacteria
–Fungi
Keystone Species
Keystone species
• Plays a critical role in the maintenance of specific ecosystems.
Energy Flow Through Ecosystems
Trophic levels
• Each step in the flow of energy through an ecosystem
Second law of thermodynamics
• Whenever energy is converted from one form to another, some of the energy is
converted to a non-useful form (typically, low-quality heat)
–As energy moves from one trophic level to the next
–90 % of useful energy is lost as heat (second law of thermodynamics).
Energy Flow Through Ecosystems
Biomass
• Weight of living material
• Difficult to measure the amount of energy contained in each trophic level
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–Use biomass as a rough measure
Energy Flow Through Ecosystems
Figure 05_26
Food Chains and Food Webs
Food chain
• A series of organisms occupying different trophic levels
–A result of one organism consuming another
• Some chains rely on detritus
–Particles of fecal waste or decomposing plans/animals
Food Chains and Food Webs
Food web
• A series of multiple, overlapping food chains.
• Single predator can have multiple prey species at the same time.
Food Chains and Food Webs
Nutrient Cycles in Ecosystems—
Biogeochemical Cycles
Organisms are composed of molecules and atoms
• Cycled between living and non-living portions of an ecosystem.
These nutrient cycles are called Biogeochemical cycles
• Bio – living organisms
• Geo – physical environment
• Chemical – specific atoms and molecules
Carbon Cycle
Carbon and oxygen combine to form carbon dioxide
Producers (Plants) use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis to produce sugars
• Use sunlight to combine CO2 and H2O into sugar
• Use sugars for plant growth
Carbon Cycle
Consumers (Herbivores & Carnivores)
• Eat plants or other animals that eat plants
• Break down the complex organic molecules into simpler molecular building blocks
• Incorporate those molecules into their structure.
• Respiration breaks down organic molecules into
– CO
2
and H
2
O
– Releases compounds back into the atmosphere.
Carbon Cycle
Decomposers feed on organic molecules of dead
• Produce CO2 through respiration
• Recycles naturally occurring organic molecules.
Carbon Cycle
Burning fossil fuels
• Takes carbon atoms that were removed temporarily from the active, short-term carbon
cycle
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• Reintroduces them into the active cycle
Carbon Cycle
Carbon Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
The cycling of nitrogen atoms between abiotic and biotic ecosystem components.
• Producers are unable to use atmospheric N.
• Must get nitrate (–NO
3
) or ammonia (NH
3.
)
Nitrogen Cycle
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria convert nitrogen gas N
2
into ammonia.
• Plants construct organic molecules.
–Eaten by animals.
Decomposers also break down nitrogen-containing molecules, releasing ammonia.
Nitrogen Cycle
Nitrifying bacteria
• Convert ammonia to nitrite
• Can be converted to nitrate.
Denitrifying bacteria
• Able (under anaerobic conditions) to covert nitrite to nitrogen gas (N
2
)
• Ultimately released into the atmosphere.
Nitrogen Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
Phosphorus Cycle
Phosphorus is not present in the atmosphere as a gas.
• The ultimate source is rock.
• Phosphorus compounds are released by erosion
– Become dissolved in water.
• Plants use phosphorus to construct necessary molecules.
– DNA, cell membranes, ATP
Phosphorus Cycle
• Animals gain phosphorus when they consume plants or other animals.
• Decomposers recycle phosphorus compounds back into the soil.
Phosphorus Cycle
Phosphorus Cycle
Human Impact on Nutrient Cycles
Burning of fossil fuels
• Releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into atmosphere.
• Increases amount of nitrogen available to plants.
Converting forests (long-term carbon storage) to agricultural land (short-term carbon
storage)
• Increased amount of carbon dioxide in atmosphere.
Human Impact on Nutrient Cycles
Nitrogen or phosphorus is applied as fertilizer
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• When too much is applied
• Applied at the wrong time
• Much is carried into aquatic ecosystems.
• Increases the growth rate of bacteria, algae, and aquatic plants.
–Toxic algae can kill fish and poison humans.
–Lowers oxygen concentrations creating “dead zones.”
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