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The scales of life that concern ecology.
In this chapter, you will consider how organisms of one species are associated in populations, and how populations of different species are associated in communities. In Chapter 30, you will look at ecosystems, which include not only living community members but the nonliving factors that interact with them (such as the rainfall in the ecosystem above). Chapter 30 also reviews the large-scale ecosystems called biomes and the biosphere, which is the interactive collection of all the Earth’s ecosystems.
a. Several oxpecker birds sit atop a black rhinoceros, ridding the rhino of ticks and other pests while the rhino provides a safe habitat for the birds. This is a demonstration of mutualism--an interaction between two species that is beneficial to both.