You will learn about competition for biotic and abiotic factors in ecosystems.
After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:
Competition in Ecosystems
Each of the many unique ecosystems found on Earth contains a wide variety of organisms requiring the use of various biotic and abiotic resources, such as water, food, and shelter, to survive and reproduce. Since the number of organisms in a given ecosystem is always much greater than the available supply of resources, these organisms are forced to compete with one another for access to the limited resources.
Competition Among Animals
Different animal species in different types of ecosystems are constantly forced to compete with one another for resources. Depending on the type of animal, its specific needs, and the availability of certain key resources in an ecosystem, these animals may engage in a wide array of competitive behaviors. For example, in African savannas, lions and hyenas compete for food and territory. In addition, male antelopes fight with each other to determine which will be the leader of their herd.
Competition Among Plants
Competition for resources is not limited to animals. Plants are forced to compete with one another for access to light and water, both of which are critical for photosynthesis and the plants' survival. For example, some plants may be unable to get enough sunlight because other larger plants are growing around or over them. In such cases, certain plants, such as ivy, can compete for sunlight by wrapping themselves around other plants to gain better access to sunlight.
Effects of Competition
The ability to compete for resources and use them effectively ultimately determines an organism's ability to survive. Those organisms that use their resources effectively have the best chance of survival, whereas those that use their resources ineffectively have the lowest chance of survival. Competition for resources can lead to changes in the number of organisms in an ecosystem, or which species are dominant in the ecosystem.
|Approximate Time||2 Minutes|
|Pre-requisite Concepts||Students should be familiar with the concepts of ecosystems, food webs, consumers, producers, decomposers, biotic factors, and abiotic factors.|
|Type of Tutorial||Experiment|
|Key Vocabulary||abiotic factors, biotic factors, competition|