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Community Interactions

Forest of New Guinea


includes nine species of

pigeons that partition the food supply


disperse seeds of the trees

that provide their food (fruit)


are just a few of the many

interactions that shape this community

New Guinea Crowned Pigeon

Map of New Guinea


Guinea is an Island north of Australia


the populations that live together in a is the type of place where


individuals of a species typically live


of habitat shapes a communitys



confuse meanings of community

Factors Shaping Community Structure


and topography foods and resources of species in community


Adaptations Species Arrival

interactions disturbances

and disappearance of species


Sum of activities and relationships in which a species engages to secure and use resources necessary for survival and reproduction

Realized & Fundamental Niches



Theoretical niche occupied in the absence of any competing species

Realized Realized


Niche a species actually occupies

niche is some fraction of the fundamental niche

Species Interactions

interactions are neutral; have

no effect on either species


helps one species

and has no effect on the other


helps both species

The commensal shrimp Periclimenes imperator on Chromodoris tinctoria, Koumac, New Caledonia, Oct, 1993. Photo: Bill Rudman.

Clownfish and Sea Anemone


: Essentials of Oceanography, 4th ed. 199

Species Interactions

competition has a

negative effect on both species


and parasitism both

benefit one species at a cost to another


Parasite Cattle Tick


together for at least some part

of the life cycle


mutualism, and

parasitism are forms of symbiosis


species benefit examples in nature mutualisms are obligatory;

Many Some

partners depend upon each other

Yucca and Yucca Moth

Example Each

of an obligatory mutualism

species of yucca is pollinated

only by one species of moth


larvae can grow only in that

one species of yucca

Yucca Moth Caterpillar


mutualism between

fungus and plant root

Fungus Root

supplies mineral ions to root

supplies sugars to fungus

Laccaria bicolor basidioma developing on a Pinus strobus seedling under controlled environment.

Interspecific Intraspecific

- between species - between members of the

same species

competition is most intense

River Otters Avoid Each Other Thus Reducing Intraspecific Competition

Forms of Competition

may have equal access

to a resource; compete to exploit resource more effectively


competitor may be able to

control access to a resource, to exclude others

Elephants Exclude Competitors

Competitive Exclusion Principle

When two species compete for identical resources, one will be more successful and will eventually eliminate the other

Competitive Exclusion Expt

Paramecium caudatum

Paramecium aurelia

Keystone Species

species that can dictate community


of a keystone species can

cause drastic changes in a community; can increase or decrease diversity

Lubchenco Experiment
Periwinkles promote or limit diversity in different habitats


Rocks exposed at high tide

Resource Partitioning

Apparent competitors may actually have slightly different niches

Species may use resources in a different way or time

Minimizes competition and allows


are animals that feed on other

living organisms

are free-living; they do not

take up residence on their prey


selection promotes traits that

help prey escape predation


also promotes traits that make

predators more successful at capturing prey

Predator-Prey Cycles

and prey populations may show an apparent correspondence



Variation in Cycles

association in predator and prey

abundance does not always indicate a cause and effect relationship


in food supply and

additional predators may also influence changes in prey abundance

Prey Defenses
Camouflage Warning Mimicry Moment-of-truth



Predator Responses

adaptation that protects prey

may select for predators that can overcome that adaptation


adaptations include stealth,

camouflage, and ways to avoid chemical repellents


drain nutrients from their

hosts and live on or in their bodies


selection favors parasites that

do not kill their host too quickly

Types of Parasites
Microparasites Macroparasites Social



Micro and Macroparasites

Human tapeworm

Trypanosome, malaria

Social Parasites
Once limited to grasslands, brown - headed cowbirds have extended their range to all 48 contiguous states and Canada. They are a major threat to songbirds.

Of 220 species known to have been parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds, and 144 have raised young Brown-headed Cowbirds successfully.


Male butterflies of the genus, Pieris, pass an anti-aphrodisiac during mating to females. This chemical, benzyl cyanide, renders the mated females less attractive to other males. This strategy tends to maximize the mating males chances of getting their genes into the next generation. Or so it was thought.

Chemical communication: Butterfly anti-aphrodisiac lures parasitic wasps

The Butterfly and its Parasitoid, Wasp

The female wasps are attracted to the anti-aphrodisiac of the mated female butterflies. Often they will hitch a ride on the female butterfly. When butterfly lays her eggs, the wasp inserts her egg into the butterfly egg. The larval wasp eats its host alive.

The Wasp highjacks the Sexual Communication Signal of the Butterfly

A Serve Limitation on the Butterfly Populations

This parasitism constrains the the butterfly populations. If this fascinating strategy is wide spread in nature, it could severely constrain the evolution of sexual communication between hosts. The wasp is tiny (.5 mm) It is located below the eye Of the butterfly.
NATURE|VOL433|17 FEBRUARY 2005| page 704

HONG KONG (AFP) - A Hong Kong woman hiker who washed her face in a freshwater stream unwittingly returned home with a leech embedded in her left nostril.
Doctors finally managed to remove it using a nasal spray to anaesthetise the five-centimetre-long (two-inch) bloodsucker a month after it had invaded her nostril. 4/15/05

Bloodsucking leech spends month up Hong Kong hiker's nose


Change in the composition of species over time

Types of Succession

succession - new


succession -

communities were destroyed or displaced

Primary Succession

Sterile lava converted to a mature ecosystem overtime.

Secondary Succession

Over time, old fields are gradually and naturally converted to mature and healthy forests.example: Westminsters forests.

Pioneer Species
Species Lichens,

that colonize barren habitats small plants with brief life


conditions for other species

who then replace them

Climax Community

array of species that persists does not always move

relatively unchanged over time


predictably toward a specific climax community; other stable communities may persist

Cyclic Changes

nondirectional changes also

shape community structure


falls cause local patchiness in periodically destroy underbrush

tropical forests

in sequoia forests

Restoration Ecology

restoration of a damaged

community can take a very long time


restoration is an attempt to are actively working to

reestablish biodiversity in an area


restore reefs, grasslands, and wetlands

Restoration Ecology

Community Instability

can cause a community

to change in ways that persist even if the change is reversed

Species Introductions

of a nonindigenous

species can decimate a community


natural enemies or controls outcompete native species


Santa Cruz Fox and Feral Pigs

Species interactions

Exotic Species

that has left its home range

and become established elsewhere

Becomes Can

part of its new community

have beneficial, neutral, or harmful

effects on a community

Dont Worry About the Walking Catfish!

3.1 meter Burmese Python, Everglades NP

Predators in Paradise
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Florida (CNN) (10/22/04) -- A dangerous intruder has invaded Everglades National Park, and it's putting the native wildlife at risk.

Shirt of missing camper!

How Big Do They Get?

Python Invasion Spawns Cottage Industry

Python-Tracking Puppy Trains to Patrol Everglades Stefan Lovgren for National Geographic News

February 3, 2005 In their growing battle against giant pythons that have invaded the Florida Everglades, national park officials there have recruited an unlikely ally: a beagle puppy nicknamed "Python Pete."

Nile Monitors

(Sept. 2005) a small population of around 1000 Nile Monitors have begun to rise in the area around Cape Coral Florida. They are most likely the offspring of a few Monitors let free by local pet owners.

Nile Monitor

Wis. Considers Legalizing Cat Hunting

Recently in the news (4/15/05)

Wis. Residents Seek Legalized Cat Hunting

Feral cats, which volunteers have been feeding for the past 10 years, feed in Anoka, Minn., Feb. 21, 2005. A new Wisconsin plan would declare freeroaming wild cats an unprotected species, just like skunks or gophers. Anyone with a small-game license could shoot the cats at will, legally. The
proposal gets tested April 11 at the Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring hearings, where outdoor enthusiasts gather in every county to vote on hunting and fishing issues. (AP Photo/St. Paul Pioneer
Press, Joe Rossi)

Africanized Killer Flea Invasion

ATLANTAPanic is spreading among American dog
owners, following the Center for Veterinary Medicine's Monday announcement that the arrival of a deadly mutant strain of Africanized killer fleas is imminent.

Crossed Texas Border in 2004

Bred in Brazil at the Sao Paulo Animal Research Facility in the late '60s, Ctenocephalides canis africanus is a crossbreed of the common North American flea and an African variant that infests the tough hides of bull elephants. The Sao Paulo entomologists never meant to release the mutant fleas into the wild, but a 1974 fire at the lab led to the dangerous subspecies' escape. In the past 30 years, Africanized fleas spread from Brazil to South and Central America and on to Mexico.

RED LIONFISH Pterois volitans

Accidental Release.

The native distribution of the red lionfish is restricted to appropriate reef habitats of the Indo-Pacific. Recently, a number of specimens of red lionfish have been observed and/or captured off the eastern coast of the United States in various locales from Florida to New York. Its presence in these waters may stem from the release of captive specimens along the southeast coast of the United States.


Endangered Species

species that is extremely

vulnerable to extinction

to 70 percent of endangered

species have been negatively affected by exotic competitors

Georgias Endangered and Threaten Plants

Plants -- 22 StatusListingTAmphianthus, little ( Amphianthus pusillus )ERattleweed, hairy ( Baptisia arachnifera)EConeflower, smooth ( Echinacea laevigata)TPink, swamp ( Helonias bullata)EQuillwort, black spored ( Isoetes melanospora)EQuillwort, mat-forming ( Isoetes tegetiformans)TPogonia, small whorled ( Isotria medeoloides)EPondberry ( Lindera melissifolia )TButton, Mohr's Barbara ( Marshallia mohrii)EDropwort, Canby's ( Oxypolis canbyi)EHarperella ( Ptilimnium nodosum)ESumac, Michaux's ( Rhus michauxii )TWater-plantain, Kral's ( Sagittaria secundifolia)EPitcherplant, green ( Sarracenia oreophila)EChaffseed, American ( Schwalbea americana)ESkullcap, large-flowered ( Scutellaria montana)ECampion, fringed ( Silene polypetala )TSpiraea, Virginia ( Spiraea virginiana)ETorreya, Florida ( Torreya taxifolia)ETrillium, persistent ( Trillium persistens )ETrillium, relict ( Trillium reliquum)EGrass, Tennessee yellow-eyed ( Xyris tennesseensis)

Nile Perch in East Africa


perch were introduced into Lake predator ate native cichlids; Nile perch species is close to

Victoria as a food source


drove many species to extinction



Nile Perch

They have put tremendous pressure On native species.

Nile Perch


Rabbits in Australia

were introduced for food and predators, their numbers



at control using fences or viruses have thus far been unsuccessful

Rabbits in Australia

Rabbits were hunted

Environment minister endorses violent means to slow toxic toads' spread across Australia

Campbell endorsed the bloody response advocated by the government lawmaker who represents Darwin, David Tollner. Tollner created public outrage last week when he said the best way to stop the toads' spread was to bludgeon them on the head with golf clubs or cricket bats as he did as a child. (Thursday April 14, 9:51 PM AP News)

The Response is Mixed


foremost animal welfare agency, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, responded by warning that anyone caught causing pain and suffering to a cane toad could be fined or jailed. Animal welfare groups say the best way to kill them is to freeze them.

Cane Toads Native to South and Central America

Cane Toads, the video

A handful of trouble.

Coqui & greenhouse frogs: alien Caribbean frogs in Hawaii

Non-native Caribbean frogs* have become established in some areas in Hawaii (*coqui and greenhouse frogs: Eleutherodactylus spp. [not true 'tree frogs', as some have called them]). They cause both environmental problems and problems for people. These creatures have a special appeal to some people; however, these frogs are not native to Hawaii, and their existence in Hawaii poses a great threat to native species in Hawaii . Although the call of the coqui is often beloved by residents of the coqui's native habitat, the extremely loud noise they make in Hawaii (presumably louder than in native habitats because of higher concentrations of populations) has been reported to be extremely annoying to numerous Hawaii residents and visitors. (For example, a recent article in a health-related magazine cites coqui as causing sleepless nights on the island of Oahu.)
Coqui chorus ..

Bills Seek to Muffle Isle Frog

The frog -- which subsists on the same diet of insects as native birds -- could be the greatest threat to state's ecosystem that anyone has ever seen before, Kim said.

Cuban Tree Frog Found In Georgia

Butler's capture of a 4-inch Cuban tree frog in coastal Savannah has caused a nervous stir among wildlife biologists in Georgia and Florida. Since its discovery in Key West, Fla., in the 1920s, the Caribbean frog has been considered an unwanted predator that disrupts ecosystems by dining on native species - including smaller tree frogs.

Cuban Tree Frog


(a) huge relative to our native frogs," said John Jensen, Georgia's state herpetologist with the Department of Natural Resources. "Like pretty much all frogs, they eat anything they can catch and fit in their mouths."
Picture link

In North America, the species is sometimes kept as an aquarium fish, although scientists can only speculate that the species may have escaped or been released into the state's waters. In 1995, swamp eels were found in several ponds at the Chattahoochee Nature Center north of Atlanta, Ga.

Asian Swamp Eel

Grow up to 3.5 ft long

Monopterus albus It breathes air and can move across land. This gives it the potential to spread rapidly and makes control difficult.

Kudzu in Georgia
Imported No

for erosion control

natural herbivores, pathogens, or competitors over landscapes and cannot be dug up or burned out turn out to have some commercial use

Grows May


Poem About Kudzu by James Dickey

ALL: Kudzu Japan invades. Far Eastern vines Run from the clay banks they are Supposed to keep from eroding. Up telephone poles, Which rear, half out of leafage As though they would shriek, Like things smothered by their own Green, mindless, unkillable ghosts. In Georgia, the legend says That you must close your windows At night to keep it out of the house. The glass is tinged with green, even so, As the tendrils crawl over the fields. and so on

Diversity by Latitude

of most groups is greatest in tropics; declines toward poles

Ant diversity

Why Are Tropical Species Rich?

Resources Species Rates

are plentiful and reliable

diversity is self-reinforcing

of speciation are highest in the


Distance Effect

farther an island is from a islands receive more that reach islands far from

mainland, the fewer species



mainland are adapted for longdistance dispersal and can move on

Distance Effect