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Glossary Species Interactions

area effect Idea that larger islands support more species than smaller ones at equivalent
distances from sources of colonizer species.
camouflage Coloration, form, patterning, or behavior that helps predators or prey blend
with the surroundings and escape detection.
carrying capacity The maximum number of individuals in a population (or species) that a given
environment can sustain indefinitely.
Array of species that has stabilized under prevailing habitat conditions.
climax pattern Idea that environmental factors often vary in their effects across a large
model region, so stable communities other than the climax stage may also persist in
that region.
coevolution Joint evolution of two closely interacting species by changes in the selection
pressures operating between the two.
commensalism Ecological interaction between two (or more) species in which one benefits
directly and the other is affected little, if at all.
community All populations in a habitat. Also, a group of organisms with similar life-
competition, Type of ecological interaction in which individuals of different species
interspecific compete for a share of resources.
competition, Type of ecological interaction in which individuals of the same population
intraspecific compete for a share of resources.
competitive Theory that two or more species that require identical resources cannot coexist
exclusion indefinitely.
distance effect Idea that only species adapted for long-distance dispersal can be potential
colonists of islands far from their home range.
ecological Processes by which a community develops in sequence, from pioneer species
succession to an end array of species that remain in equilibrium over some region.
Endemic (native) species highly vulnerable to extinction.
exotic species Species that left its home range and became established in a new community.
geographic An organism moves out of its home range and becomes established in a new
dispersal community, as an exotic species.
habitat [L. habitare, to live in] Place where an organism or species lives;
characterized by its physical and chemical features and its species.
host Living organism exploited by a parasite. A definitive host harbors the mature
stage of a parasite's life cycle. One or more intermediate hosts harbor
immature stages.
mimicry Close resemblance in form, behavior, or both between one species (the mimic)
and another (its model). Serves in deception, as when an orchid mimics a
female insect and so attracts males that pollinate it.

mutualism [L. mutuus, reciprocal] Symbiotic interaction that benefits both participants.
niche (nitch) [L. nidas, nest] Sum total of all activities and relationships in which
individuals of a species engage as they secure and use the resources required
to survive and reproduce.
parasite [Gk. para, alongside, + sitos, food] Organism that lives in or on a host for at
least part of its life cycle. It feeds on specific tissues and usually does not kill
its host outright.
parasitism Symbiotic interaction in which a species that feeds on its tissues (a parasite)
benefits and the other (its host) is harmed.
pioneer species Any opportunistic colonizer of barren or disturbed habitats. Adapted for rapid
growth and dispersal.
predation Ecological interaction in which a predator feeds on a prey organism.
predator [L. prehendere, to grasp, seize] A heterotroph that eats other living organisms
(its prey), does not live in or on them (as parasites do), and may or may not
kill them.
prey Organism that another organism (e.g., a predator) captures as a food source.
resource Of two or more species that compete for the same resource, a sharing of the
partitioning resource in different ways or at different times, which permits them to coexist.
restoration Attempts to reestablish biodiversity in ecosystems severely altered by mining,
ecology agriculture, and other disturbances.
riparian zone Narrow corridor of vegetation along a stream or river.
succession, [L. succedere, to follow after] Ecological pattern by which a community
primary develops in orderly progression, from the time that pioneer species colonize a
barren habitat to the climax community.
succession, Ecological pattern by which a disturbed area of a community recovers and
secondary moves back toward the climax state.
symbiosis [Gk. sym, together, + bios, life, mode of life] Individuals of one species live
near, in, or on those of another species for at least part of life cycle (e.g., in
commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism).

Web Sites

Learn about invasive plants at “Wildland Invasive Species Team’s” site at UC Davis: