Interspecific and Intraspecific Competition Among Alfalfa in in Shaded and Unshaded Pots - Research Paper Example

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The objective of this lab was to detect the differences of interspecific and intraspecific competition in the alfalfa plant. This was accomplished by putting alfalfain combinations of 25 seeds, 50 seeds, 25 alfalfa with 25 tomato and 25 alfalfa with 25 rye. These variations were both put in pots that received the light, and ones which did not. …
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Interspecific and Intraspecific Competition Among Alfalfa in in Shaded and Unshaded Pots
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Download file to see previous pages These variations were both put in pots that received the light, and ones which did not. The measure of length and weight of the germinated seeds were then recorded and compared. The outcome concluded that the length in the unshaded pots were much higher than those in the shaded, and the most competition in alfalfa was found in the 50 seed pot. Difference in weights however varied with alternating higher values in both shaded and unshaded experiments across the samples. Further, interactions among species are negative since length were longer in pure samples than in mixed samples. Introduction and Background Interactions among species of organisms within resource limited ecosystems leads to competition for the resources. Every species and individual within a species will seek to utilize the available resources for survival. This defines the concept of competition among organisms in an ecosystem that can be explored from two perspectives, intraspecific competition, and interspecific competition. While intraspecific competition occurs among organisms of the same species, interspecific competition occurs among different species. It does not happen at individual level but organisms of the same species acts as a community to gain an advantage over a competing species. Intraspecific competition may be witnessed over resources such as “food, water, breeding sites” among others such as light and shade (Toole, 2004, p. 34). One of the important principles in competition is the exclusion principle. This principle, as established by Gauss, defines the basics of survival for the fittest. It provides that when more than one species are competing for limited resources, the species that can utilize the resources most economically will have an advantage over the other species that may end up being extinguished from the ecosystem. This defines a negative competition as it leads to destruction of some ecosystems’ elements in the extinguished species. If the disadvantaged species fails to find an alternative niche for survival then they face the threat of total extinction from the immediate environment. Competition, however, plays a crucial role in determining the size of organisms in an ecosystem among other positive interactions.This leads to a maintained balance of the population sizes of different species of organisms that can be supported by resources in an ecosystem. This is because the feeding rate will highly depend on the availability of resources that translate to the number of organisms that can be sustained by the available resources (Toole, 2004, p. 34). Abiotic factors in an environment also affect chances of growth and development of individual organisms and entire species of organisms in an ecosystem. Shade, for instance, is identified to enhance chances of survival among plants with respect to predators. This is because organisms under shade enjoy a level of freedom from predators as compared to those that grow in well light areas (Kersch and Fonseca, p. 1). Even though shade enhances survival of plants, there has not been an established competition for shade among the organisms (Zobel, et al, p. 1). This paper seeks to investigate interaction between plants under shade and in light. The paper will apply statistical analysis to investigate existence of intraspecific competition and interspecific competition for shade and without shade within and among species. Experimental Designs and Results The project used primary data in which tomatoes, alpha, and rye were planted both separately and in pairs by species. The alpha species was planted with 25 seeds in one pot, 50 seeds in another, 25 seeds of alpha combined with 25 seeds of rye, as well as 25 seeds ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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