03-outline - BIOL 1010 Fall Term 2008 Lecture outline...

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BIOL 1010 Fall Term 2008 Lecture outline – Ecology chapters - ‘vanishing vultures’ case study - this case study presents some major themes in ecology: - causes and consequences of pop’n crashes - effects of environmental toxins - effects of removal (or addition) of a species on the rest of the ecosystem - links between ecosystem health and human health - the environment consists of abiotic and biotic components - ecology – a discipline that is studied at many different scales - some example research questions at different ecological scales 1. organism – how do individual organisms interact with their environment? 2. population – how & why do the numbers of individuals in a population increase or decrease over time? 3. community – how does a species interact with other species? 4. ecosystem – what is he flow of energy and nutrients through the communities in a region? 5. biosphere – what are the effects of global climate change on major biomes/ecosystems? - there is a close link between ecology & evolution - organisms are adapted to the environments they live in (which is why they are found where they are found….) e.g. adaptations of plants in deserts vs rain forests - abiotic factors influence species distributions - terrestrial biomes defined by climate, specifically, temperature and moisture regimes - regional patterns of climate influenced by things like intensity of incoming solar radiation, atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns influencing transport of heat and precipitation, proximity to large water bodies vs interior, ‘continental’ sites, topography (e.g. mountain ranges) - biotic factors influence species distributions e.g. case study of experimental removal of sea urchins - rainforests in the Americas are like rainforests in Africa…why aren’t there any Great Apes in the Americas? Population Ecology A population is a group of organisms of the same species living in the same general area. - density & size - direct counts, sub-sampling, mark-recapture - dispersion - clumped (most common), uniform, random (least common) - demography – age structure, sex ratio, birth & death rates, generation time
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- survivorship – Type I, Type II, Type III e.g. plants have Type III, humans have Type I - natual selection shapes life history traits e.g. how many offspring to have, how often… - life-history tradeoffs – having offspring reduces survivability of parents - iteroparity vs semelparity (heavy investment in each offspring, with few offspring produced vs. little investment in each offspring, lots of offspring produced) - population growth models r = b-d , r = growth rate, b = birth rate, d = death rate dN/dt = r N ( exponential growth models ) - populations do not increase to infinity!; systems have a carrying capacity K (maximum size of population that can be sustained) - limits to population growth ( logistic growth models ) - b declines, d increases as N approaches K dN/dt = r max N * (K-N)/K, when N = K, r = 0, when N < K, r > 0, when N > K, r < 0
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03-outline - BIOL 1010 Fall Term 2008 Lecture outline...

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