Power1_ScienceOfEcology - Mary Power [email protected]

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1 Mary Power, [email protected] http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/power/ office hours W, F 9-10 am, Bio 1b office T 3:40-5 4184 VLSB 2 organism Ecology Ecology: “oikos (house) logos (study)”: Scientific (since 1902) study of interactions of organisms with their environments. “Study of factors that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms” (Andrewartha and Birch 1954) 3 Niemala… 4 Niemala, a Finnish ecologist, found that birch leaves were eaten faster by caterpillars (and caterpillars grew faster) when leaves were enriched with nitrogen (as they are from acid rain), but that trees growing for 5-10 years in outdoor nitrogen-fertilized plots were less grazed than were trees in unfertilized plots…..???!??? Lab results: compared caterpillar feeding and growth rates on Nitrogne enriched vs non-enriched leaves ? 5 6 Unfertilized Fertilized Predators over- recruited to fertilized trees in the field plots plants herbivores predators
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7 Observations The only way truly new information is acquired Good natural history Consistent long term monitoring Nowadays: Advanced mapping and sensing technologies Experiments Field or laboratory, replicated manipulated treatments with controls Whole ecosystem experiments (Schindler’s lake fertilization and acidification, p. 1205, Fig. 54.8 in Campbell); Hubbard Brook deforestation Models verbal or mathematical simplifications of reality, intended to capture key processes driving system change over time Hypotheses: suggested explanations, subject to test (falsifiable) 8 Understanding ecological patterns and processes requires both: Reductionist approaches -- seeking mechanisms, causal processes—(e.g., caterpillars feed and grow faster on nitrogen rich leaves) (lab—spoon vs chop stick feeders—mechanism affects efficiency) and Holistic approaches -- determining boundaries of the system (all that must be included) necessary for understanding and predicting outcomes of ecological interactions in the real world. (lab—how do diets, experience, environmental context affect success and eventual composition of foragers on VLSB lawn? ) Zoom lens ecology: focus in for mechanism, zoom out for context and consequences 9 Taxon 2 species Food chain Strong interactions 10 Taxon or guild 2 species Food chain Strong interactions space time energy 11 Environment Lecture 2.
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