Ecology Exam I Notes - Fall 2008

Ecology Exam I Notes - Fall 2008 - Ecology Exam I Notes...

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Ecology Exam I Notes Concepts and Principles of Communities and Ecosystems Introduction o What is Ecology? Ecology- The study of the relationships between organisms and their environment Environment Abiotic components o Non living things (water, soil, etc.) Biotic components o Living things (individuals of species) An Interdisciplinary Science Genetics Hydrology Geology Atmospheric Sciences Behavior Biochemistry Physiology A complex science dealing with higher levels of integration/organization Biosphere Landscapes Ecosystems Communities Populations Individual organisms o Levels of Integration (i.e., Hierarchy) in Ecology Biosphere- all of the ecosystems/landscapes of the Earth Landscape- all of the ecosystems in a particular area; a collection of ecosystems Ecosystems- all of the organisms in an area (the community) interacting with each other and with the abiotic environment Community- all of the interacting populations of species occupying an area Population- a group of individuals of the same species in a given area Individual o Scientific Method Observation Question Hypothesis Prediction Hypothesis Testing Model Development (sometimes) Hypothesis vs. Theory Hypothesis- a statement that offers an explanation for some observation; ideally, exclusive of other possible explanations Theory- an integrated and hierarchical set of hypotheses that together explain a large number of scientific observations o Unifying Theories in Ecology Abundant hypotheses, but… relatively few unifying theories (Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is a major exception) Reasons for lack of unifying theories: Young science Complex science
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o Ecology Environmental Science Applied Ecology Basic Ecology Application of Evolutionary Theory to Ecological Problems Ecologists are NOT Policy makers Moral authorities Ecologists ARE Scientists Human o Why Study Ecology? A. Historical aspects of man’s interest in Ecology 1. Finding food 2. Locating acceptable environments 3. Avoiding predation, disease B. Some current reasons for public interest in Ecology (Environmental Issues/Applied Ecology) 1. Overpopulation o # 1 problem on planet 2. Pollution 3. Destruction of Natural Habitat 4. Global climate change 5. Extinction of species/reduction of biological diversity 6. Sustainability 7. Transmission of some diseases o An Example of Complexity and Application of Ecological Questions: Transmission of Lyme Disease First described in 1997 Cause: o Borrelia burgdorferi (a spirochete) – bacterium Symptoms: o damage to nervous system, heart, eyes, and joints Vector: o deer tick ( lxodes scapularis and others) Alternate hosts: o white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) and deer mouse ( Peromyscus maniculatus ), among others
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This note was uploaded on 10/06/2008 for the course BIOL 30403 taught by Professor Horner during the Spring '08 term at TCU.

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Ecology Exam I Notes - Fall 2008 - Ecology Exam I Notes...

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