Habitat * The place in an ecosystem where an organism prefers to live

Habitat – The place in an ecosystem where an organism prefers to live.
Q. What are the major needs of an organism’s habitat?
A. Food, water, cover, and space.
*Changes in habitat can positively/negatively affect a population of a species*
Examples of Changes of Habitat on a Population
1) Ruffed Grouse- Requires brushy forests for cover and food. Most of Pa’s forest
were logged (cut down) 80 to 100 years ago. They grew into brushy forest allowing
grouse populations to increase. Forests are now maturing reducing cover and food
causing populations to decline. Land development has also reduced populations
2) Eastern Bluebird – Small songbird that nest in cavities of trees and wooden
fence posts. They prefer open fields and farmlands to feed on insects. Populations
have declined since WWII due to wooden posts being replaced by steel and loss of
farmland (pesticides). Back yard nesting boxes have recently helped the
3) White-tailed Deer – Deer are grazing and browsing animals of the forest and
field. The population has increased due removal of its predators over 100 years ago.
Deer have learned to live near people and benefits from edge effect and
landscaping. Deer are overpopulated and have removed much of the forest shrub
layer. Population is controlled by hunting.
Edge – a place where two ecosystems meet. A greater variety of organisms can
exist in overlapping ecosystems.
Example: forest and a field boundary
Positive impacts of edge to wildlifeEdge provides more food and cover for many animals
Example: Whitetail Deer
Negative impacts to wildlife
An edge may cut through and limit (fragment) a habitat.
Example: A highway through a forest may keep woodland species from
crossing. Edge may also increase competition (brown headed cowbird and
Community- A set of interacting populations.
Example: A forest community contains all living populations (trees, shrubs,
wildlife, microbes, etc.)
Species – organisms that are similar in structure and behavior that breed to produce
fertile offspring