Ecology - Ecology What is ecology-the scientific study of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ecology What is ecology-the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and the biotic and abiotic environment Ecosystem – the biotic community of organisms at a place, the abiotic environment and the interactions among them Broad spectrum of ecological approaches Field ecology Theoretical ecology Complexity and uncertainty Not rocket science, variability in natural systems Experimental design is difficult Often look for naturally occurring controls Multiple pathways possible for interactions Ecology is a science based on scientific method Pursuit to understand how nature works Methods include Broad descriptive studies Lab and field experiments Computer simulations using mathematics Statistical analysis Tools from microscopes to satellites What are the major physical properties affecting the distribution of terrestrial ecosystems? What is the major driving factor of climatic patterns in the biosphere? What are the major climatic patterns across the biosphere? What are the major patterns of ecosystems or biomes in the biosphere? Climatology- pg 86-94 Tropical rainforests Deserts Tundra/ boreal forests Grasslands
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
What makes these biomes? Water Temperature – energy-solar Nutrients Climate is the state factor that most strongly governs the global pattern of ecosystem structure and processes Energy- global scale Solar radiation Where is it greatest – tropic of cancer, tropic of Capricorn, less atmosphere for the sun to go thru Where is it least?- the poles, less direct sun, angle of earth What does solar energy do and why is it important? It heats up the earth’s surface Albedo- the % of solar radiation striking the earth that is reflected Snow and ice- 45- 90% Forest and grassland 5 – 30% This varies with vegetation and with land use, logged vs unlogged forest The lower the albedo, the more that solar radiation influences the earth’s climate because more energy is absorbed Thus, the tropical forests with low albedo warm up and drive equatorial circulation cell Air is warm at equator because of solar radiation, albedo, and adiabatic processes. This warm air rises and drives circulation cells Adiabatic processes – temperature drops 1 C per 100 m of elevation, adiabatic lapse rated Air is warmer near the earth’s surface Under greater atmospheric pressure and molecules are pushed together Food Webs – Keystone Species Payne 1969 Predators might keep prey populations low, especially dominant ones Thus no species would be dominant Some species of predators may increase biodiversity When Pisaster, the top predator is removed, Thais, becomes dominant predator and unequal feeding occurs, and biodiversity declines Dominant species – have a significant influence on food web by virtue of biomass or number
Background image of page 2
Keystone species – activities determine community structure in a way disproportionate to their biomass Lubchenko 1978 Sometimes particular herbivores increase plant diversity Decrease plant diversity Sometimes increase and decrease diversity
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 17

Ecology - Ecology What is ecology-the scientific study of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online