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286_lecture1 - BIO286 Introduc/on to ecology and evolu/on...

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BIO286’ Introduc/on’to’ecology’and’evolu/on’ Lecture’1:’Adapta/on’to’the’ environment’
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Housekeeping’ Please’see’course’syllabus’for’details’on’office’hours’for’ both’me’and’ TAs.’ Weekly’help’sessions’on’Tuesdays’6:00-7:00’Lily’3-118.’ All’lecture’notes’will’be’uploaded’to’Blackboard’at’least’ 24’hours’before’class.’ Addi/onal’reading’material’will’also’be’posted’on’ Blackboard.’ 3’take’home’ homeworks’(20%’of’Fnal’grade).’We±d’ prefer’it’if’you±d’type’out’your’answers’and’print’them’ o²’rather’than’use’the’paper’provided!’ 5’online’quizzes’(see’syllabus’for’dates)’combined’=’10%’ of’Fnal’grade.’
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During’this’course’we’will’look’at’how’organisms,’ assemblages’of’organisms,’and’organisms’together’with’ their’environment’are’united’to’form’ecological’systems.’ We’will’also’look’at’what’processes’caused’these’ organisms’to’take’on’their’appearance.’ A’thorough’understanding’of’ecology’and’evolu/on’is’ important’for’many’reasons.’ Perhaps,’most’importantly’by’understanding’ecology’and’ evolu/on’we’can’meet’the’challenges’of’maintaining’a’ suppor/ve’environment’in’the’face’of’increased’ ecological’stress.’
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Ecological’systems’ An’ecological’system’ may’be’an’organism,’a’ popula/on,’mul/ple’ popula/ons,’an’ ecosystem’or’an’en/re’ biosphere.’ Organism’is’the’ fundamental’unit’of’ ecology.’
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Ecologists’study’nature’from’a’variety’of’diFerent’ perspec/ves.’ The’organism’approach’=’why’some’organisms’are’ limited’in’their’distribu/on’and’why’related’species’living’ in’diFerent’environments’have’diFerent’appearances.’
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Diversity’of’life’is’crucial’to’the’maintenance’of’ ecological’systems’ An’ecosystem’is’composed’of’many’diFerent’species,’ each’of’which’is’essen/al’for’a’healthy’ecosystem.’ As’biologists,’we’tend’to’focus’on’the’“ macroorganisms”’ plants,’animals’and’fungi.’ But’there’are’many’species’of’microorganism’that’are’ key’components’to’many’ecosystems.’
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“All’life’depends’on’plants”’ All’ecological’systems’depend’on’the’transfer’of’energy:’ most’systems’=’sunlight.’ Plants’use’photosynthesis’to’collect’energy’from’sunlight’ and’together’with’carbon’dioxide’and’water’use’it’to’ synthesis’organic’molecules.’
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