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Community vs. Population

Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment

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Community vs. Population

Postby jmeeter » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:37 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm just doing some studying for my college biology course and there are really only two terms that I keep getting confused - population and community.

In my textbook, a population is defined as
"A group of individuals of one species that live in a particular geographic area."
A community is defined as
"All the organisms that inhabit a particular area; an assemblage of populations of different species living close enough together for potential interaction."


Now it may just be me, but these sound exactly the same! Can someone, in plain words, make the distinction for me!!

Thanks,
Jordan
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Postby MichaelXY » Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:02 pm

A community is a group of populations, like a population of ants in a area that also has ant eating birds. Two populations in one community.
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Here is another analogy. Say you have a stack of quarters. The quarters is one population. Also in another pile you have a stack of pennies, and a stack of dimes. Each stack is a population. Now you pour all the stacks into your piggybank. All the different populations of coins now comprise a community. Does that make sense?
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Postby mcar » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:05 pm

A population is composed of only one species in general. A community is composed of two or more species that have definitive ecological niche (or role) specific in the area where they live.

A population of Panthera leo or lions inhabit the large savannah of Kenya, Africa. Of course, not only lions live in that desert--where the desert is a type of community; there are also other plants and animals there like grasses, shrubs; animals like gazelles, zebras, hyenas, and the like.
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Postby MrMistery » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:29 pm

the desert is an ecosystem(community+abiotic components). The community is the sum of all organisms(of all species: bacteria, protozoans, plants, animals etc. - everybody!)living in the desert.
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