Ecology Exam 1

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Ecology

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112 Terms

1

Ecology

The study of the interactions of organisms with one another and with their environment

The study of the distribution and abundance of organsism

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Evolution

Change in population’s gene pool over time

science of the origins of biological diversity and its distribution

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Ecological systems

  1. individual

  2. population

  3. community

  4. ecosystem

  5. biosphere

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4

Individual

most fundamental unit of ecology

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species

individuals that are capable of interbreeding or share genetic similarity

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Population

individuals of the same species living in a particular area and interbreeding.​

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characteristics of populations (not individuals)

Geographic range (distribution) ​

Abundance ​

Density ​

Change in size

Composition (demography) ​

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Community

Populations of species living together in a particular area.​

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Ecosystem

one or more communities of living ​organisms interacting with their nonliving ​physical and chemical environments.​ ( community+ physical and chemical environment= ecosystem)

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Biosphere

all ecosystems on earth

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Individual approach

Understands how adaptations, or characteristics of an individual’s morphology, physiology, and  behavior enable it to survive in an environment.​

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Populations approach

Examines variation in the number, density, and composition of individuals over time and space.​

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community approach

Understands the diversity and interactions of organisms living together in the same place.​

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ecosystem approach

Describes the storage and transfer of energy and matter.​

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Biosphere approach

Examines movements of energy and chemicals over the Earth’s surface.​

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Darwin’s 4 postulates

  1. Individuals vary in their traits.​

  2. Traits are heritable.​

(More offspring are born than survive)​

3.  Variation in traits causes some individuals to experience higher fitness (survival and reproduction).​

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Producers

or autotrophs—convert ​

chemical energy into resources.​

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consumers

or heterotrophs—obtain their energy from other organisms.​

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Mixotrophs

can switch between being producers and consumers.​

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Scavengers

consume dead animals

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Detritivores

break down dead organic ​ matter (i.e., detritus) into smaller particles.​

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Decomposers

break down detritus into simpler elements that can be recycled.​

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types of species interactions

  • predation

  • parasitism

  • herbivory

  • competition

  • mutualism

  • commensalism

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predation

when an organism kills or consumes an individual

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parasitism

when one organisms lives in or on another organism.​

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competition

when two organisms that depend on the same resource have a negative effect on each other.​

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mutualism

when two species benefit from each other

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commensalism

when two species live in close association and one receives a benefit, whereas the other is unaffected.​

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Habitat

the place, or physical setting, where an organism lives.​

Distinguished by physical features, such as dominant plant type.​

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Niche

the range of abiotic and biotic conditions an organism can tolerate.​

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Hypothesis

ideas that potentially explain a repeated observation.​

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predictions

statements that arise logically from hypothesis

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Nemoria experiment and results

butterfly experiment where different conditions were used to determine what causes different phenotypes.

Results: diet changes development

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Population approach

Examines variation in number, density, and composition of individuals over time and space​

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Spatial Structure

the pattern of density and spacing of individuals in a population.​

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Fundamental Niche

the range of abiotic conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, salinity) under which a species can persist.​(all possible options)

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realized niche

the range of abiotic and biotic conditions under which a species does persist.​ (reality)

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Geographic range

a measure of the total area covered by a population (e.g., temperature and drought define the range of sugar maple).​

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endemic

geographic range where species live in a single often isolated location

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cosmopolitan

a measure of the total area covered by a population (e.g., temperature and drought define the range of sugar maple).​

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abundance

the total number of individuals in a population that exist within a defined area (e.g., total number of lizards on a mountain).

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Density

in a population, the number of individuals per unit area or volume; calculated by dividing abundance by area.​

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Dispersion

the spacing of individuals with respect to one another within the geographic range of a population.​

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Clustered dispersion

when individuals are aggregated in discrete groups (e.g., social groups or clustering around resources).​

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Evenly spaced dispersion

when each individual maintains a uniform distance between itself and its neighbors (e.g., defended territories, croplands).​

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Random dispersion

when the position of each individual is independent of other individuals; not common due to non-random environmental heterogeneity.​

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Dispersal

the movement of individuals from one area to another.​(verb of dispersion, actual movement)

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Population abundance and range

Populations with high abundance also have large geographic ranges.​ (example: birds)

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Population density and body size

The density of a population is negatively correlated to the body size of the species.​

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Dispersal limitation

the absence of a population from suitable habitat because of barriers to dispersal.​

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Habitat corridor

a strip of favorable habitat located between two large patches of habitat that facilitates dispersal (e.g., a narrow band of trees that connects forests).​

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Ideal free distribution

when individuals distribute themselves among different habitats in a way that allows them to have the same per capita benefit.​ (pizza example)

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subpopulations

when a large population is broken up into smaller groups that live in isolated patches.​

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Basic metapopulation model

a model that describes a scenario in which there are patches of suitable habitat embedded within a matrix of unsuitable habitat; all suitable patches are assumed to be of equal quality.​

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Spatial structure models

  • Metapopulation​

  • Source-Sink​

  • Landscape​

<ul><li><p>Metapopulation​</p></li><li><p>Source-Sink​</p></li><li><p>Landscape​</p></li></ul>
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metapopulation

a set of local populations linked by dispersal​ : least complex

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patches

suitable habitat

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Matrix

barrier to dispersal

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Source sink model

recognizes differences in quality of suitable habitat patches: intermediate complexity ​

Source patches : more food reproduce more

Sink patches: less resources less reproduction

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Landscape model

  • most complex

  • considers effects of differences in the habitat matrix:​​

  • the quality of a habitat patch can be affected by the nature of the surrounding matrix​​

  • some matrix habitats are more easily traversed than others​

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61

demography

The study of (the structure and growth of) populations​

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What causes population increase?

birth and immigration

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What causes population decrease

deaths and emigration

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geometric growth

discrete time intervals (choppy points and lines)

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exponential growth

time is treated as continuous (one smooth line no points). Continuous growth -- overlapping generations with year round reproduction

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Geometric (discrete) growth

N(t + 1) = N(t) ​

where:N(t + 1)  = number of individuals after 1 time unit​

N(t)        = population size at time t

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N(t+1)

number of individuals after 1 time unit​

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N(t)

population size at time t

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Geometric Population growth

= ratio of population size at any time to the population size 1 time unit earlier ​

  is the “per capita growth rate” ​ \n      or “finite rate of increase”:​

<p><strong></strong> = ratio of population size at any time to the population size 1 time unit earlier ​</p><p><strong></strong>  is the “per capita growth rate” ​ \n      or “finite rate of increase”:​</p>
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Geometric Population Growth for Multiple time intervals

<p></p>
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Exponential population growth equation

Pe^rt

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when a population is decreasing

λ<1 and r<0

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when population is constant

λ=1 and r=0

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when a population is increasing

λ>1 and r>0

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Density independent limitations

factors that limit population size regardless of the population’s density.​ Common factors include climatic events (e.g., tornadoes, floods, extreme temperatures, and droughts).​

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Density dependent limitations

factors that affect population size in relation to the population’s density.​

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negative density dependence

when the rate of population growth decreases as population density increases.​ The most common factors that cause negative density dependence are limiting resources (e.g., food, nesting sites, physical space).​ (think about splitting the pie, the more people the less pie each person gets)

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Shelf-thinning curve

a graphical relationship that shows how decreases in population density over time lead to increases in the size of each individual in the population; often has a slope of -3/2

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positive density dependence

when the rate of population growth increases as population density increases (also known as inverse density dependence, or Allee effect).​ (typically happens when pop is so small that it makes it hard to find mates and reproduce)

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Logistic growth model

a growth model that describes slowing growth of populations at high densities; it is represented by:​

<p>a growth model that describes slowing growth of populations at high densities; it is represented by:​</p>
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Carrying capacity (k)

the maximum population size that can be supported by the environment.​

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S- shaped curve

The shape of the curve when a population is graphed over time using the logistic growth model.​

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Inflection point

the point on a sigmoidal growth curve at which the population has its highest growth rate.​

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logistic growth model low in population size

N is small so the slope is higher rising in growth

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logistic growth model with higher population size

N is closer to one so slope is smaller slowing growth

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Age structure pyramids with broad base and narrow top (arrow shaped)

indicates population is growing because more babies are being born than in previous generations

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Age structure pyramids with narrow base (v shaped)

Indicates that population is declining because less babies are being born than previous generations

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Life tables

tables that contain class-specific survival and fecundity data.​

<p>tables that contain class-specific survival and fecundity data.​</p>
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life table parts

x = age class​

nx = the number of individuals in each age class immediately after the population has produced offspring.​

sx = the survival rate from one age class to the next age class​

bx = the fecundity of each age class​

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Number surviving to next age class

(nx) x (sx)​

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number of new offspring produced

(nx) x (sx) x (bx)​

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<p>Type one curve</p>

Type one curve

survivorship curve depicts a population that experiences low mortality early in life and high mortality later in life (e.g. bears, humans, elephants, whales).​

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<p>type 2 curve</p>

type 2 curve

curve depicts a population that experiences constant mortality throughout its life span (e.g., squirrels, corals).​

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<p>type 3 curve</p>

type 3 curve

depicts a population with high mortality early in life and high survival later in life (e.g., weeds, fish, alligators).​

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Cohort life table

a life table that follows a group of individuals born at the same time from birth to the death of the last individual.​

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Static life table

a life table that quantifies the survival and fecundity of all individuals in a population during a single time interval.​

Does not take into account the effect of time ​

Works well with organisms with long lifespans ​

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overshoot

when a population grows beyond its carrying capacity; often occurs when the carrying capacity of a habitat decreases from one year to next (e.g., because less resources are produced).​

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Die- offs

a substantial decline in density that typically goes well below the carrying capacity.​ Die-offs often occur when a population overshoots its carrying capacity.

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population cycles

regular oscillation of a population over a longer period of time.​

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delayed density dependence

when density dependence occurs based on a population density at some time in the past.​

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