Species Interaction

Hannah Kanipe, Abby Ferrell, Jahnia Camp

Background Information

Biological interactions are the effects organisms in a community have on one another. In the natural world no organism exists in absolute isolation, and thus every organism must interact with the environment and other organisms.

Types of species interactions:

Competition- when organisms in a same species or in different species have limited resources they must compete for those resources to survive. Harmful to both animals. Ex-Bears competing for limited habitat space with rapid deforestation and commercialization of woodland ares. Lions and hyenas competing for the same food source, wildebeest.

Predation- When one organism hunts another organism for food. Beneficial for the organism that is the predator. Ex-Snakes preying on mice.

Parasitism-The relationship between two different kinds of organisms in which one receives benefits and the other usually has some damage inflicted. Ex-Tapeworms in the digestive tract,

Mutualism- Relationship in which two organisms interact and they both benefit from the interaction. Ex-Ox pecker and the black rhinos/zebras. The birds sit on the rhino or zebra and eats the debris off the its back while the rhino or zebra gets cleaned.

Commensalism-Relationship between two organisms in which one organism benefits and the other is neither helped or harmed. Ex-Pilot fish that latches on to sharks and eats the left over food. The fish benefits from the food and the shark receives nothing.

Summary of Predation Article: Dynamics of Predation

Populations in a predator-prey system are always fluctuating. If the number of prey is scarce the number of the predators will drop. If the number of prey is abundant then the number of predators will rise but eventually the predators will kill off the prey. When the predator population rises it puts stress on the prey and makes it harder to reproduce because they are struggling to survive.