Glossary

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F

Facilitation (successional)
In which the influence of early species in a community succession is to facilitate establishment of later ones by changing the conditions encountered.
Facultative annual
An organism (the phrase is usually used of plants) which may in some circumstances complete its life cycle within 12 months.
Facultative mutualism
The condition in which one or both species in a mutualistic association may survive and maintain populations in the absence of the other partner.
Fecundity
The number of eggs, or seeds, or generally offspring in the first stage of the life cycle, produced by an individual.
Fecundity schedule
A table of data displaying the lifetime pattern of birth amongst individuals of different ages within a population.
Field capacity
The condition of a soil when it contains all the water retained after draining freely under gravity.
Fitness
The contribution made to a population of descendants by an individual relative to the contribution made by others in its present population. The relative contribution that an individual makes to the gene pool of the next generation.
Floristic equilibrium
The species composition of a flora when there is no further internally or externally generated change.
Folivores
Animals that eat leaves.
Food chain
An abstract representation of the links between consumers and consumed populations, e.g. plant - herbivore - carnivore.
Food web
Representation of feeding relationships in a community that includes all the links revealed by dietary analysis.
Frequency dependence
Of a predator, describes the tendency to take disproportionately more of the commoner prey species.
Functional response
The relationship between a predator's consumption rate of prey and the density of those prey.
Fundamental net reproductive rate (R)
The average number of individuals that each existing individual in a population gives rise to one time interval later; hence, the multiplication rate relating size of a population to its size one time interval earlier.
Fundamental niche
The largest ecological niche that an organism or species can occupy in the absence of interspecific competition and predation.

 
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