Chapter 2_Physical Enviro.docx - Chapter 2 1 Why is it so...

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Chapter 2 1. Why is it so important in ecology to understand the environment? Explain why it was particularly important in the Salmon Abundance Case Study. What is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation? Which type of study was used in the salmon abundance case study? Ecology is the study of organisms and their interactions with the environment so it is extremely important for ecologists to also understand how the environment works. In the salmon abundance study, it was important to understand the environment because it was hypothesized that a long-term climate change was what was leading to the abrupt changes in the salmon population. The PDO is a 20-to 30-year cycle of warm and cool temperatures in the North Pacific. An observational field study was performed for the case study. 2. How are catadromous and anadromous organisms different? Which is more common? Catadromous organisms spend most of its life in fresh water and migrates to salt water to breed. Anadromous organisms, such as salmon, are born in fresh water, spend most of their life in salt water, and return to fresh water to breed. 3. What is the most fundamental component of the physical environment? Why? Climate is the most fundamental component of the physical environment. 4. What is weather? How is this related to climate? Weather: current conditions- temperature, precipitation, humidity, cloud cover Climate: long-term description of weather, based on averages and variation measure over decades, includes cycles (daily, seasonal cycles, yearly, decadal) and long-term trends (temp, wind, precipitation, etc). 5. How does energy drive climate? About what percentage of energy is reflected and absorbed by the earth? What type of energy is this?
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