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Population Interactions

How do populations interact?

• Everything in biology
is part of something
larger, and
populations are no
• Populations share
space with other
• They interact.
• They are
Beavers benefit songbirds
• Science Daily (Oct. 9, 2008)
“The songbird has a friend in
the beaver. According to a
study by the Wildlife
Conservation Society
(WCS), the busy beaver's
signature dams provide
critical habitat for a variety of
migratory songbirds,
particularly in the semi-arid
interior of the Western U.S.”
• ScienceDaily article
The American Robin
• To Earthworms they
are predators.
• To cardinals and
chickadees they are
• To tapeworms living in
their stomach they are
What is the Niche?
• “All aspects of the physical and biological
environment that are important to a
• Where does the species live?
• What other organisms does it share space
and resources with?
• How does it interact with other species?
• What is it’s job?
• The niche includes
how a population
responds to the
abundance of its
resources and
• An example is when a
population grows when
resources are
abundant, and
predators, parasites
and pathogens are
Monarch Butterflies
• The abiotic
environment is also
part of the niche
because it influences
how populations
affect, and are
affected by, resources
and enemies.
• Monarch butterflies
have a specific niche
which is affected by
loss of habitat
• Science Daily
Competitive Exclusion Principle
• According to the
competitive exclusion
principle, no two
species can occupy
the same niche in the
same environment for
a long time.
• Resource Partitioning
is an ecological idea
which lessens the
MacArthur’s warblers
Predator-Prey Interactions
• Interactions between
populations where one is
eating another.
• Fate of each other’s
population are intricately
• When predators are
removed…prey numbers
• Usually populations fluctuate
in a predictable way.
Energy expenditure
• Predators spend a lot of
their time stalking their
prey and studying.
• Predators “assess”
chances of success , look
for signs of weakness.
• Only when faced with
starvation will a predator
challenge a healthy
• Prey use many
techniques to help
themselves escape
• Mimicry is looking like
something in the
environment which
predators would
normally ignore.
1. How do populations interact?
2. Provide an example of populations
3. What is a niche?
4. Describe competition exclusion principle.
5. What are ways the predator conserves
6. How do prey protect themselves.