Ecology-Interspecific Interactions Lab
Ecology is the study of how organisms interact within their environment. Every species interacts with its surroundings, whether it’s within their populations, community, ecosystem, etc. In this lab, we will be comparing two different species and how they grow alone as well as together, in the same environment. More specifically, in this lab, we will be dealing with one of the most important ideas in ecology, the niche. Due to this concept, we can study the environmental circumstances the organism can handle, the essential resources it will need to survive, and how it will obtain these resources. “Different species can hold similar niches, and the same species may occupy different niches” (Wikipedia). This could mean that although these two organisms are living in the same environment, they are still capable of growing because it is possible for different species to live in the same niche and share the same limiting resource. The Competitive Exclusion Principle suggests that two different species cannot compete for the same limiting resource, in the same environment, for a long time (Molumby 150). This raises the question whether each species benefits, suffers, or remains unaffected. The possible interactions between different organisms are known as interspecific interactions. These include Neutralism, Commensalism, Amensalism, Mutualism, and Competition. When dealing with competition between the two, several things can happen. It is possible that one species may be excluded more than the other when one organism needs less of the limiting resource than the other. This is also known as exploitation competition. However, there is an alternative outcome that involves the species being able to live without competition while using the same resources. Such a divergence is called resource partitioning, and is simply the ecological version of the idea that it is often easier to...