Lect 1 Behavioral Ecology

Lect 1 Behavioral Ecology - Module 4: Ecology The study of...

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Module 4: Ecology The study of the interactions of organisms with their physical and biological environment. Everything is connected to everything else. Major themes. Behavior Life history strategies and population dynamics Interactions between individuals and species, community structure. Ecosystem dynamics, biogeochemistry
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Behavioral Ecology Behavior encompasses all the ways in which animals (and various organisms) respond to their physical, chemical, and biological environment. Migration Habitat selection Feeding Mate choice Meerkats: co-operative behavior is essential for survival in environment with scarce resources and threats from many predators
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Meerkats? Let’s consider an ecologically more important group: PLANKTON! Migration of the plankton Large mammals (e.g., caribou) migrate on annual basis Zooplankton migrate every day (diel vertical migration, DVM) Scale of zooplankton DVM Average mass involved is ~25 tonnes km -2 Typical distance traveled is ~250 m d -1 The distance is comparable to 10,000 - 50,000 body lengths each way On a human scale, this amounts to a 10 - 50 km trip each way.
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Zooplankton
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Euphausia hemigibba in the California Current Solid lines represent daytime distribution. Dashed lines represent nighttime distribution. Adults migrate somewhat deeper than juveniles on average, but all life cycle stages show a strong vertical migration. General DVM: California Current
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Why Migrate? The hypotheses to explain DVM include: Avoidance of toxic substances or high light intensity. Lateral movement. Optimal foraging. Niche partitioning. Bioenergetics. Predator avoidance. Sardines: Terror of the zooplankton
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Larval Settlement Planktonic larvae are an important dispersal stage for many benthic marine invertebrates. Larvae typically have only a limited store of energy
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Lect 1 Behavioral Ecology - Module 4: Ecology The study of...

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