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A healthy ecological community has lots of organisms interacting with each other. When organisms rely on other members of the community to help with survival and reproduction, this is called interdependence.

An individual organism has to interact with other individuals or its environment to survive. It needs resources from the living and non-living world to exist. What might be some of the non-living (abiotic) resources an individual organism needs to survive?

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When considering a specific habitat, such as a woodland, a pond or even a whole country, we are looking at the interactions between all the organisms and their environment. What do we call that system?

An ecosystem is made up of all the organisms in a specific area - the biotic factors - and the physical factors that affect them - the abiotic factors.


An individual depends on other individuals of the same species to survive and reproduce. We call these collections of individuals of the same species populations. What do we call collections of populations?

Any individual organism can only survive and reproduce if it interacts with other organisms, both from its own species (population) and from other species (populations). This means there is an interdependence between all the organisms in an ecosystem.

Imagine a population of wild rabbits. How do they depend on each other in order for the individuals and the whole population to survive?

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The interactions between members of the same species are known as intraspecific interdependence.

Not all these intraspecific interactions are an advantage to the individual. There are examples of when this can lead to competition ** for resources to survive. Which of these options do you think are examples of intraspecific competition?

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So intraspecific interdependency is when individuals of the same species depend on each other. We call that intraspecific interactions. Interspecific interdependency and interspecific interactions is when individuals from ____________ species interact and depend on each other.

Intra- refers to something being within the same species. Inter- refers to something being between different species.

Maybe you can remember that like this: Companies and schools use intranet to communicate within the school or the company. The world uses the internet to communicate across the entire globe. Inter = different.

Which of these might be examples of interspecific interactions?

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Interdependence and ecological balance.


All individuals within an ecosystem interact with the other individuals within the same ecosystem.

Sometimes, these interactions will increase an individual's chances of survival.


A fox is dependent on a rabbit for food. What kind of interaction is this?


Foxes eat rabbits. This is an interspecific interaction that...


Balanced ecosystems

In a balanced ecosystem, the organisms are interdependent upon each other. The interactions balance so that populations survive, even if individuals do not.