Ecology%201_Intro%20to%20Ecology - Natural History Ecology,...

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Unformatted text preview: Natural History Ecology, Lecture 1: The study of nature and natural phenomena, usually based on observation and description Introduction to Ecology The roots of Ecology in natural history observation Exemplary naturalists of the 18th and 19th centuries Modern definitions and approaches to Ecology Ecology integrates field, lab, and theoretical studies Ecology and environmentalism Natural history of the San Francisco Bay 1 2 Chauvet Cave, Ardèche River Valley, Southern France (c. 32 ka) Cave Lions (Panthera leo spelea) Cave Bears (Ursus spelaeus) 3 4 Exemplar of the natural history tradition The intellectual roots of Ecology Linnaeus & Biberg (1749): The Oeconomy of Nature Gilbert White (1720-1793) Carolus Linnaeus (1707–1778) “The Natural History of Selborne” 5 6 Data are recorded observations, the items of information on which science is based Exemplar of the natural history tradition Ecology, 89(2), 2008, pp. 332–341 Ó 2008 by the Ecological Society of America GLOBAL WARMING AND FLOWERING TIMES IN THOREAU’S CONCORD: A COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE ABRAHAM J. MILLER-RUSHING1 AND RICHARD B. PRIMACK SPECIAL FEATURE Department of Biology, Boston University, 5 Cummington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 USA Abstract. As a result of climate change, many plants are now flowering measurably earlier than they did in the past. However, some species’ flowering times have changed much more than others. Data at the community level can clarify the variation in flowering responses to climate change. In order to determine how North American species’ flowering times respond to climate, we analyzed a series of previously unstudied records of the dates of first flowering for over 500 plant taxa in Concord, Massachusetts, USA. These records began with six years of observations by the famous naturalist Henry David Thoreau from 1852 to 1858, continued with 16 years of observations by the botanist Alfred Hosmer in 1878 and 1888–1902, and concluded with our own observations in 2004, 2005, and 2006. From 1852 through 2006, Concord warmed by 2.48C due to global climate change and urbanization. Using a subset of 43 common species, we determined that plants are now flowering seven days earlier on average than they did in Thoreau’s times. Plant flowering times were most correlated with mean temperatures in the one or two months just before flowering and were also correlated with January temperatures. Summer-flowering species showed more interannual variation in flowering time than did spring-flowering species, but the flowering times of spring-flowering species correlated more strongly to mean monthly temperatures. In many cases, such as within the genera Betula and Solidago, closely related, co-occurring species responded to climate very differently from one another. The differences in flowering responses to warming could affect relationships in plant communities as warming continues. Common St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) and highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) are particularly responsive to changes in climate, are common across much of the United States, and could serve as indicators of biological responses to climate change. We discuss the need for researchers to be aware, when using data sets involving multiple observers, of how varying methodologies, sample sizes, and sampling intensities affect the results. Finally, we emphasize the importance of using historical observations, like those of Thoreau and Hosmer, as sources of long-term data and to increase public awareness of biological responses to climate change. Key words: climate change; Concord, Massachusetts; flowering times; global warming; Henry David Thoreau; phenology. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) INTRODUCTION It is astonishing how soon and unexpectedly flowers appear, when the fields are scarcely tinged with green. Yesterday, for instance, you observed only the radical leaves of some plants; to-day you pluck a flower. —Henry David Thoreau (Thoreau 1962) 2006), the storage of carbon in plants and soils (Shaver et al. 2000), and the timing of life history or phenological events (Menzel and Fabian 1999, Inouye et al. 2000, 2003, Primack et al. 2004). Of these biological responses to climate change, changes in the timing of phenological events are the most widely reported and probably the most easily detectable (Parmesan and Yohe 2003, Root et al. 2003). Climate-related changes in phenology, some quite dramatic, have been observed on every continent and in the oceans (e.g., Menzel and Fabian 1999, Inouye et al. 2000, Schwartz and Chen 2002, Edwards and Richardson 2004, Gordo et al. 2005, Barbraud and Weimerskirch 2006, Beaumont et al. 2006). In most instances, phenological events, such as flowering, bird migration, and amphibian reproduction, are now occurring earlier than in the past (Parmesan and Yohe 2003, Root et al. 2003). However, it is clear that species’ phenologies are changing at different rates. In some cases, different phenological events are changing at different rates even within a single species or individual plant or animal (Post et al. 2008). These changes have Miller-Rushing & Primack 2008 Ecology 89(2): 332-341 Climate change is already affecting biological systems worldwide (Walther et al. 2002, Parmesan and Yohe 2003, Root et al. 2003). Several studies have detected effects of climate change on changes in species distributions (Grabherr et al. 1994, Parmesan et al. 1999), rates of extinctions (McLaughlin et al. 2002, Pounds et al. 7 Manuscript received 12 January 2007; revised 20 April 2007; accepted 1 May 2007. Corresponding Editor: S. Naeem. For reprints of this Special Feature, see footnote 1, p. 319. 1 Present address: Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, P.O. Box 519, Crested Butte, Colorado 81224 USA and Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA. E-mail: 332 8 Darwin’s “Tangled Bank” Öekologie, from oikos (“home”) + logos (“to study”) Charles Darwin (1859): “It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us ... ” Ernst Haeckel (1869): “The comprehensive science of the relationship of the organism to the environment” 9 Elton (1927): “Ecology is a new name for a very old subject. It simply means scientific natural history.” 10 Ecology is also conducted with experiments in the lab Charles Elton (1900–1991) heads into the field with his live traps for studying field mice G. F. Gause (1910-1986) 11 12 Range expansion of the Cattle Egret in the New World Working definitions of Ecology Andrewartha (1961): “Ecology is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of organisms” Current 1970 1966 1965 1960 1961 1943 1937 1958 1951 Charles Krebs (1972): 1956 “The scientific study of the interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms” 1970 13 Kangaroos / km2 0–0.1 0.1–1 14 Distribution and abundance of the Red Kangaroo in Australia Ecology and Environmentalism 1–5 5–10 10–20 > 20 Limits of distribution Rachel Carson (1907-1964) 15 16 Earth seen from the moon (Apollo 8, 24 Dec. 1968) "We went to explore the Moon, and in fact discovered the Earth." Eugene Cernan Environmentalism is concerned with the conservation and preservation of nature 17 18 ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/16/2010 for the course BIO 1B taught by Professor Carlson,mischel,power during the Fall '07 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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