What is the Difference Between Population and Community?
The population of people on earth is increasing day by day. Scientists have measured the growth to be three new people every second but people are not the only population that we can count. The planet earth is home to a million species of living organisms. We, humans, share this living space with many animals, insects, and plants and all of these living organisms be it micro or macro-organisms are a part of our Ecosystem. These organisms keep our ecosystem balanced and the absence of any of the species of these living things can affect the food web or the entire ecosystem of nature. As different organisms live in nature which makes it important to understand the difference between a population and a community.
A population is a group of living things living in one area. All owls living in a forest are a perfect example of a population. Sometimes different populations live in the same area for example there could be a population of mice and a population of pine trees in the same area. A bunch of goldfish in an aquarium is a population of goldfish. All of one type of protozoa in one lake is a population. It doesn’t matter if it is a population of plants, animals, fungi, or bacteria what’s important is that it is all one type of living species living in the same area.
When several populations start living in the same area they are called a community. Different communities are living in nature. As forest community includes trees, moss, mushrooms, and other living things. Within the community, many populations interact in the forest. For instance, the population of owl interacts with the population of mice as, owl hunts and kills mice to obtain food that they need to survive in a forest. The plant community might also include ants or aphids. Similarly in a pond, the community includes the plants, animals like ducks, turtles, and microscopic protozoa. Hence, a community includes all types of living organisms that are located in one area.
Interaction of Non-Living Things with the Community
Things also interact with the community as mountains shape the land and rivers provide water to the animals, soil and gives a place for the trees to grow. Similarly, the sunlight provides energy to the plants. That is how the circle of life takes place between populations and communities and ends up into an Ecosystem. It is a term that scientists give to all of the living and nonliving things in the area.
A forest is just one example of an ecosystem. Another ecosystem is the desert ecosystem including a group of scorpions that is a desert population. All of the scorpions, birds, reptiles, and other living things are the desert community that adds in the abiotic factors to complete the desert community to complete the desert ecosystem.
Hence knowing the basic facts about different types of populations and communities help us to understand the difference between population and community. Populations ending into communities help a pivotal role in balancing the ecosystem.
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