In ecosystems, organisms compete for the resources they need to survive, grow, and reproduce. Animals compete for air, food, shelter, water, and space. Plants also compete with each other for the resources they need, including air, water, sunlight, and space. These interactions within an ecosystem help keep the populations of various organisms in balance and are necessary to keep an ecosystem healthy.
To better understand the competition in ecosystems…
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN!
Environmental factors affect competition for resources.
Competition for resources affects an organism’s ability to survive, grow, and reproduce. For example, the gray fox can live in many places across the United States. However, if resources are limited, the fox’s ability to grow is affected. Plants can be affected in the same way. For example, plants will not reach their full height and width if they do not have enough space to grow.
Genetic factors affect an organism’s ability to survive.
Many genetic factors affect a plant or animal’s ability to survive. Genetic factors include traits that are inherited from parents. Traits can include leg length, which can affect an animal’s ability to run to either catch something to eat or avoid being eaten. Genetic factors also affect things like fur and feather color, which can provide camouflage or attract a mate for reproduction.