By J. Phil Gibson
Realize the main ecological roles and dynamics of vegetation and their position within the setting.
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Additional resources for Plant Ecology (The Green World)
Individuals with this strategy have rapid growth and are strong competitors for resources in the environment. The S strategy is used by stress-tolerant species. These plants grow slowly in harsh but stable environments in which there are few resources available. Annuals and weeds are typical Rstrategists. Trees and shrubs tend to be C- and S-strategists. Lichens and desert plants are S-strategists. Summary The life history of a species includes the various strategies that plants use to survive and reproduce during their life cycles.
A species’ niche reflects all of the ways it gathers and uses resources and interacts with other organisms within its habitat. The niche can essentially be thought of as the organism’s job within the community. For example, plants fill the niche of producers within communities. Through photosynthesis, they provide the energy and nutrients that consumers depend on to survive. As producers, plants form the base of the food chain and direct the flow of energy through the ecosystem. The process begins when carbon dioxide (CO2) enters the leaf through openings called stomata.
Organisms living in the same location interact in many ways that can shape their growth and survival. Plants interact with other plants, as well as various animals, fungi, and bacteria. Plant ecologists classify these interactions based upon whether they benefit or inhibit the growth of one or both species. Competition has negative effects that harm both species when they exist together. Parasitism has a negative effect on one organism and a positive effect on the other when they interact, but the opposite effect on the two organisms when they do not come into contact with one another.