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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 50 I ntroduction to Ecology • What is Ecology? o Scientific study of the interactions among organisms with their physical environment o These interactions determine the distribution and abundance of organisms • Ecology as Science o Ecology has long history of Descriptive science Rigorous experimental science o Example: Sponge Assemblages on Temperate Reefs: Rob Ruzicka “plateau” sponges (fish eat regularly, not many predators) • High sedimentation rate “scarp” sponges (fish don’t eat that much) • Low sedimentation rate • Ecology and Evolutionary biology o Closely related Sciences o Events occurring in ecological time (minutes, months, years) translate into effects over evolutionary time (decades, centuries, longer) • The Organism’s Environment o Abiotic Non-living components Light, temperature, nutrients, moisture, etc… o Biotic Living components Competitors, predators, parasites, etc… • Subfields of Ecology o Based on:...
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