Date(s) - 19/09/2017
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
No creature lives or functions in isolation. Not only do we share the same DNA with the entire spectrum of past and present life, but we are also dependent on, and interact and compete with other organisms. These interactions extend from the extremes of predation of one species on another, to the mutual dependence of symbionts on each other for survival.
Interactions between living organisms can range from the obvious to the extremely complex. At its most brutal, competition means certain death for one of the two competing individuals, but at its most benign, interactions can bring considerable benefits for both parties. Whatever the interactions, no species can live in isolation from others. The lesson to be learnt is that if we as humans interfere with the biology or ecology of any one species, we will almost certainly alter food-web structures and therefore impact on many more species, however inadvertently. Given such insight into life in general, we can look more thoroughly and with better understanding at life in specific environments.
Prof. Johann du Preez, Departmental Chair of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State, is a recognised plant ecologist and environmental consultant with a passion for environmental education.
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