Species Interactions

How do species interact?

WordWord

DefinitioDDefinition

Ecosystem

All the populations of species in a habitat interacting with each other and their abiotic environment.

Habitat

The place in which organisms live.

Food chain/web

A modal that describes the flow of energy through an ecosystem.

Predator type

The level that a predator occupies in a food chain e.g primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary.

Competition

A symbiotic relationship among living things for resources like food, shelter, mates, ecological status.

Commensalism

One organism uses another to help in its survival but has no negative effect.

Mutualism

All the members of the relationship benefit

Parasitism

The parasite depends on the host in order to survive. Without the host the parasite cannot survive.

 

Roles and positions in a food chain

 

Word

Definition

Function

Producers

Create (produce) their own ‘food’ by harnessing energy from their surroundings. E.g plants, seaweed.

Provide a source of food and energy in an ecosystem.

Herbivore

An organism that only eats plants, in a food chain these are the primary consumers.

A herbivore is a predator and keeps the size of the population of plants in check.

Primary consumers

Herbivores

The primary consumers ensure producers have sufficient access to sunlight, water, space and other resources so they can continue to grow, develop and reproduce. The greater the variety of produces, the greater the variety of primary consumers.

Secondary consumers

Feed of primary consumers (prey), they are carnivores.

Control the populations of the organisms they eat.

Tertiary Consumers

Feed off of the secondary consumers.

Tertiary consumers are often keystone species, the species that keep the population of the whole ecosystem in check.  

Carnivores

An animal that feeds on other animals.

 

Prey

Animals that are eaten by predators.

Provides food and energy in an ecosystem.

 

Keeping the population of animals an appropriate size is important, so that both plants and animals have sufficient access to the food, water and space they need to live and reproduce, and that no on variety of a species has an advantage. As soon as one species has an advantage over another the ecosystem becomes less diverse and less balanced.

 

Photosynthesis: Producers make up the foundation of a food web. They are the only organisms that are able to convert carbon dioxide and energy from the sun into sugar - that animals can use for energy. Photosynthesis is a chemical reaction that happens inside chloroplasts, this reaction is vital because sunlight is the original source of energy for the planet.

Factors affecting interactions within ecosystem

Event/Factor

Natural or human-initiated

Negative consequences

Suggestions to reduce damage to the ecosystem

Powerful storms

Both

The environment gets destroyed therefore the species living in that environment all die and have nowhere to grow or live.

Replant plants and bring in conservatory workers.

Overhunting

Human

Cause extinction.

Illegalise hunting species that are engendered. Illegalise trade.

Killing predators

Human

Causes unhealthiness to the ecosystem.

Work to manage the resource. Help from the gouvernement.

Geological events

Natural

Destruction of an entire ecosystem.

Replanting the trees. Move back the species into another area.

Accidental poisoning

Human. Oil spill

Could lead to disruption of the food chain, population will decrease.

Reduce the amount of oil that is being traded. Fine companies for consequences they cause.




Editors

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