NRE 2345 Exam 1

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What makes something wild? (Definition of wildlife)

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What makes something wild? (Definition of wildlife)

Animals which live in their natural state, uninhibited by humans

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What exceptions are there within the bounds of wildness and domesticity? What settles these exceptions in terms of defining wildness or not"?

Animals like raccoons - wild in the sense that they are generally not managed/owned/interfered with by humans, but still dependent on us (eat trash)

Wild pigs - descendants of escaped domestics

Not an exception but animals of the same species in close proximity with one another can be very different in terms of wildness (catfish in Mississippi river but catfish in aquaculture ponds are not)

Wilderness is determined by legally, varying state-by-state but across the board often related to private property laws.

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subcategories of wildlife

Game - hunted birds

Fur-bearers: foxes and such

Non-game: non-hunted birds

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Jawed and jawless, freshwater and marine

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Characteristics of fishery/wildlife systems?

Biota: What lives there

Habitat: the land and homes of biota (including abiotic components)

Human users: Fishers and hunters

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Habitat Fragmentation

If a road is built in the middle of a habitat, the habitat not only loses the space taken by the road but a new buffer area is formed because the wildlife are not comfortable existing directly next to a road.

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Categories of human users

Direct users: Fishers, hunters, and birdwatchers

Indirect users: loggers, fracking

Consumptive: people who take from/use wilderness (hunters, fishers, people gathering firewood)

Non-consumptive: people who “don’t take, appreciate (kayakers, birdwatchers)

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Difference between fish and wildlife

Determinate vs indeterminate growth: mammals and birds grow to a certain size and then stop (determinate) and fish keep growing

Endothermic vs ectothermic: wildlife is endothermic (maintain constant temp) Fish are endothermic (temp dependent on environment)

Habitat differences: more oxygen in air than water, gravity greater in air than water, water denser than air (fish use more energy)

We value things we identify with, in general people care more about wildlife wellbeing than fish because it’s easier to identify with a bird or bear than fish

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Study of organisms, their distribution and abundance, determined by interactions

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Levels of organization

Structure: water, plants, animals

Function: (respective) habitat, cleaning water, etc

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Problems of scale (in studying ecology)

Spatial: The world is huge if you want to study the ecology of some place, it has to be a very small portion of land

Temporal: Things change - you can study the same area twice and get completely different results based on when you studied it

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Methods of regulation

Predation and diseases - basically natural population control

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Responses to stress

Stressor = lack of resources, habitat destruction, disease, predators “An applied stimulus, measured by its capactity to deflect some living component of an ecosystem”

Response = migration, ex: grizzly bears smell human sent, they leave and stop going there.

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Levels of existence

Individual: single organism

Population: group of individual

Species: groups of interbreeding natural populations

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Exceptions to species

Domestic animals: more susceptible to selective breeding

Interbreeding between species: think zedonks and ligers - blurs the lines of species

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more about populations

Individuals who:

-rely on the same resouces

-are influenced by the same enviroment

-act as a unit

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Number of individuals per unit area

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Distribution of plants or animals

-uniform: graphically

-random: self explanatory

-clumped: also self-explanatory

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generation time -when does sexual maturity occur within a given species, how many eggs per couple, incubation period, care time, lifespan potential offspring

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Biotic Structure

Feeding relationship: food chain

Biomass pyramid: shows the relationship between biomass and trophic levels (trophic levels being producers then herbivore then carnivore…)

The further something is to the bottom of the food chain the more biomass is present because there are more things eating them

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Supplies needs for a population - water, food space, cover

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Sources of water in habitats

Freshwater rivers and lakes, dew(small animals that don’t require a lot of water)

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Problems of scale for animals within ecology

spatial : home range and territoriality

temporal: migration

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Home range

-smaller animals, small range

-expansion of home range borne of exploratory trips

-size of home range by trophic level (large to small) carnivores,omnivores, herbivores

-marine animals generally have a larger home range than terrestrials (blue whale largest)

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Optimal range of survival and growth for each organism

law of tolerance

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Range of tolerance

Minimum to maximum where growth can occur, mostly revolved around temperature. in center (optimal range): survive, grow, reproduce / in stress zone : survive and grow / in outermost limit of stress zone: survive

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Animals survive, but don’t thrive

stress zone

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Response (at individual and population level)

Behavioral: instantaneous and reversible (moving to shade in he heat)

Physiological: takes anywhere from seconds to weeks, occurs within your body, not consciously controllable

Morphological: takes years to lifetimes, changes to an individual (smaller body developed in tadpoles with faced with predators)

Adaptive: takes several generations, evoltution

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Ecological succession

The process by which ecosystems evolve and change, more complex as time goes on - stops changed when self-sustainability is reached in a climax community (disterbances to climax community, such as wildfires, cause predictable chagne

-primary: succession beginning in completely new habitats

-secondary: succession beginning after destruction of pre-existing habitat

*all levels have soil

Aquatic succession: bodies of water that develop layers of sediment

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Natality and Recruitment

Natality: Number of young born/hatched within a period of time (birthrate)

Recruitment: number of young that survive to maturity within a period of time (survival rate kinda)

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when to focus on natality/recruitment

Natality: when animals have few offspring and hence more involved parental care - all babies are more likely to survive and hence this is likely to be an accurate way to represent population(generally terrestrial wildlife)

Recruitment: when animals have many offspring and very little parental care (fish lay millions of eggs) - most babies born/eggs laid will not survive, so focusing on birth rate (natality) rather than survival rate (recruitment) will not be an accurate representation of population

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Population dynamics

Study of change in numbers or weight of organism in a population, and the study of what affects these things

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Factor affecting natality and recruitment

Density dependent factors: fighting over natural resources - (this will affect offspring rate) (dependent on density because the amount of organisms present vs natural resource available is what prompts fight)

inversity - more adults, less fawns and vice versa stock-recruitment relationship

density independent factors: acts of god

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Density dependent factors

Environmental factors that affect population that are based on population density

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Density independent factors

environmental factors that affect population that are not based on population density

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Fishery version of population


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Stock Recruitment relationship

lots of grown fish to reproduce = lots of recruited fish created

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Determinate growth

Set size that the animals will grow to

birds and mammals

growth is fast to adult size

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Indeterminate growth

-not set size that the animal will grow to


-growth patterns variable and affected by enviroment

-related to stunted population of fish - there’s lots of competition for food/natural resources which means low biomass in the population and general stunted growth because every fish gets less food

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Number of individuals that die within a specific period of time

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Factors affecting mortality

Density dependent: lots of animals in a population = competition for natural resources

Dependent independent: abnormally cold weather (acts of god)

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Natural Mortality

Death by natural causes (predation, lack of food, disease) - also included in this are some human causes like habitat destruction/reduction

Connected to growth rate and longevity, as well as growing season for fish

Varies from area to area - same size fish in different areas: one can be 3y/o with 40% mortality and one can be 15y/o with 10% mortality

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Harvest Mortality

Humans directly taking animals from their habitat and killing them (hunting, fishing and trapping)

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Total Mortality

Natural Mortality + Harvest Mortality

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Harvestable Surplus

Individuals that can be removed from the population without affecting the population

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Compensatory Mortality

When one type of mortality increases and the other decreases so they balance each other out

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Additive mortality

When compensatory mortality goes to far and too many die - wildlife management seeks to avid this (sometimes it’s the goal with overpopulated species)

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Overall population dynamics relationships between natality/recruitment, growth, and mortality

Nat/Rec + growth = mortality - this is a stable population

Nat/rec +growth > mortality - growing population

Nat/rec+ growth <mortality - shrinking population

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Growth of population when environmental factors are not limiting

Graph of biomass vs time = exponential j-curve

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Growth of population when enviromental factos are limiting

Graph of biomass vs time = logistic s-curve

-top of curve = carrying capacity (k)

-almost always (not exactly literally tthough -this is just a general description, populations are actually obviously very dynamic)

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Carrying capacity


-dependent on habitat available, predatory/prey standing

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types of K

Ecological K: maximum number of organisms able to be sustained within a given area

Minimum K: desirable level for people/convience

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standing stock/population density

-Used interchangeably

-What the S-curve levels out at

-bioic/reproductive potential lifts SS/PD up

-Environmental factors (disease, predation, etc) Push SS/PD down

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Cyclic population

abundance increases and decreases regularly - generally determined by seasons and such

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Irruptive population

abundance increases and decreases irregularly - unpredictable and graph is ll over the place

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production: biomass produced/accumulated by a population in a given period of time (kg/yr)

Yield: portion of population taken by humans (can be less or more than surplus)

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maximum sustained yeild

old management philosophy made to maximize amount of biomass humans could take. Does not take into account organism size

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optimum sustained yield

actually considers ecological factors (biomass/general population dynamics) as well as sociological factors

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population structure

size structure - how many in the population are large/small?

Age structure - distribution of adults vs babies

sex ratio

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Community structure

-Composition of lots of species and organism

-species richness: how many different species in a given area

-species evenness: distribution/abundance of species present

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predator/prey population relationship

more predator, less prey and vice versa

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most vertebrates are


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controlled by genes, but affected by environment

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Proportion of individuals in a population that are heterozygous. Also described as genetic diversity because hH = more alleles

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Genetics in regards to fisheries and wildlife

Help understand heredity (often specific traits) and heredity transmission

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Genetic diversity

Perpetuated by high heterozygosity. Necessary for species evolution

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Total genes in an individual evolves based on environmental factors on previous generations

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How does genetic differentiation occur?

Adaptation: Deterministic, force being applied - there’s a reason and a direction

Genetic drift: Stochastic/dispersion, kinda like unintentional evolution

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Standing genetic variation

Amount of genetic diversity currently in a population

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Allopatric speciation

When species become different because of geographic isolation

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Peripatric speciation

Similar to allopatric but only a small portion of the population gets separated

-few isolated individuals carry rare alleles, which then become dominant within those individuals

-due to genetic drift

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parapatric speciation

speciation along a gradient- individuals at either end are very different and cannot interbreed; individuals in the middle/next to each other can kinda breed

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sympatric speciation

different and noninterbreedable speciation occurs intermingled with he whole population

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isolation by time

Causes speciation because of different breeding times

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Artificial selection

Humans do this - breed animals for desired traits or breed out undeseriable traits

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breeding with relatives - destroys genetic diversity

more likely with small populations because choices are less,

Large populations don’t have to worry about this as much

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why is nourishment needed

to perform bodily processes

-use of energy and storing fat

maintenance ration must be maintained

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how do wildlife obtain proper nutrients

carnivores - other animals

herbivores - plants

-all dependent of sex age and physiological status

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What nutrients are needed

water, protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals

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all chemical/physical processes that occur in the body

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metabolism that builds issue

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metabolism that breaks down material

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-Animals intake to stay alive

-must abundant compoind in the wold

-basis for all animal fluids


-move feed

-maintain temp

20% loss = death

3lbs water for every 1 cup of food

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-Largest most costly part of food requirement

c-composed of amino acids

-some animals need more than others

sources: meat, plants (peanuts, soybeans, cottonseed)

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-Main source of energy

-includes sugars and starches and cellulose

-Almost all from plants

Parts: Bran (fiber), endosperm (starch/protein), germ (seed for new plant)

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-organic compounds, lipids

-found in plants and animals (sources grains with oils)

-Essential fatty acids - necessary for hormone production

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-provide structural support for animals (bones/eggshells)

-Help with muscle contraction, blood cells, organs and enzymes

-mineral blocks good for animal source of minerals

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-Fight stress and disease

-Essential for body processes: health, growth, production, reproduction

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Types of feeding

Generalist: opportunist, different foods by season

Specialist: same food year-round

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Digestion in different types of feeders

Insectivores: short intestine, no cecum; simple system

Carnivores: short intestine, small cecum, sharp teeth

Non-ruminant herbivores: simple stomach, large cecum

Ruminant: 4 chamber stomach, large rumen, long small and large intestine, fermentation

Adaptation: coprohagy (shit eaters rabbits), Crop/gizzard (chickens)

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Animal behavior

What animals do and why/how they do it

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Ethology pioneers

Karl von Frisch: focus on importance of chemical and visual communication for insects

Niko Timbergen: focused on importance of instinctual behavior to survive

K. Lorenz: imprinting

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Proximate vs ultimate causes

Proximate: immediate stimulus and mechanism for behavior (what caused squirrel to run away? it saw a dog.

Ultimate: Questions evolutionary significance of a behavior (why evolutionary do squirrels run from dogs? they’re prey)

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Study of animal behavior within their natural environment

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Stereotypical Behavior

Instinctual behavior, something that’s built into genes and is done by all individuals

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Fixed action pattern

innate, unlearned behvior that cannot be changed

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circadian rhythm

daily cycle, affected by light

also includes seasons - length of day tells birds when to migrate

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Control of behavior

influenced by genes and environment

behavioral phenotypes

innate behavior fixed under genetic influence - doesn’t need to bepracticed

Learned behavior self-explanatory

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loss of response to stimuli

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Learned and innate

generally irreversible, done durring sensitive peroid - limiting phase at beginning of life - basically first few minuted

imprinting ona habitat can take 6mo

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