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Factors of Community:

1. Interactions between the climate and topography
a. “Rainfall, soil, temperature”
2. The food and resources that grow
3. Other specific resources necessary for a species to survive and adapt to. (Ecological niche)
4. Species interaction
5. Physical disturbances, addition/removal of certain species

-These factors determine population sizes of an ecosystem.
-Conditions of arctic regions don’t allow many animals to live there due to the low temperature.

Niches: (all relationships in which species engage in order to survive and reproduce)
-Fundamental Niche is a theoretical niche, where there are no constraints or limited resources)
-Realized Niche is the actual niche, where there are constraints on resources)

Symbiosis: (“living together” Species interacting in +, -, and = ways)

Mutualism (++)
-Both species in interaction benefit
-Obligatory Mutualism
-One species cannot grow/reproduce without another species
EX. Yucca plants are only pollinated by Yucca moths.
-Yucca moths only grow in the yucca plant and only eat Yucca seeds.

-The prey and predator build better defenses and counters to the other’s abilities.
-Since the best of the prey/predator survive more often, they have more chance to reproduce.
-Soon only the strong survive, thus, the best ways of countering reach the entire population.
-EX. Camouflage, Mimicry (faking a characteristic), Spewing toxins, showing teeth, etc
Carrying Capacity
-Maximum number of individuals that resources of environment can maintain.
-Predator-Prey populations can fluctuate.
-Predators may not adjust quickly enough to the abundance of prey.
-Additional predators could also influence the rate.
-As more predators reproduce and eat more prey, the prey population decreases.
-As more prey dies, predators have less to eat and begin to die off.
-With fewer predators, the prey once again starts to reproduce at a faster pace.

Predator- Animals that feed on living organisms, but do not live on them
Prey- targets of predators that are killed
Parasites- Feeds on tissues of living organisms and live on them
Host- the organism a parasite feeds on
Effects of Parasites
-Feeds off the host’s tissue’s nutrition.
-Alters how much energy enters the organism, and weakens it.
-Can alter birth rates, can sterilize, or make organisms less attractive to mates.
-Can open prey to diseases and infections.
-Usually does not want to cause death, so that it can reproduce for a longer period of time
-Rapid reproducers and personally infect the body.
EX. Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoan
-Directly lay their eggs on the host.
EX. Fleas, ticks, mites, lice
Social Parasites
-Manipulate the social behavior of another species.
EX. Cuckoos lay their eggs in nests of other species, which push the rightful eggs out.
-The mother of the original eggs ends up feeding the cuckoos.
-Insect larvae that always kill what they eat (larvae and pupae of other insects)

More about ecosystems

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