Ecology Exam 1: Lecture Material

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Conservation

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100 Terms

1

Conservation

Wise use, not wasting resources, making sure that resources continue to exist in perpetuity as we use them

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Who coined the word conservation?

Gifford Pinchot

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Ecology

  • The study of ecosystems and how different organisms interact with each other and the ecosystem itself

  • “home study”

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Biggest order in mammalia

Rodentia

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Obligate carnivore

Carnivores that must only eat meat

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Class aves

Birds

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How many birds are threatened, endangered, or critically endangered?

1/8

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What percentage of amphibians are threatened or endangered?

Over 25%

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Ecosystem

A biological environment consisting of all organisms in a particular area, as well as nonliving physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact

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What drives interactions in an ecosystem?

Energy and nutrients

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2nd Law of Thermodynamics

During transfer of energy, some is going to be lost due to heat and entropy

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1%

Percentage of the sun’s energy absorbed by producers

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10%

About how much of the energy in the previous trophic level is available to the next?

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Producers

Which trophic level has the largest amount of biomass?

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Community

The living part of an ecosystem

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Biomes

  • Broadly similar communities

  • Similar types of species

  • Driven by climate

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Pioneer community

1st step in succession

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Climax community

Last step in succession

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Primary succession

Succession that occurs where no community previously existed, such as after a volcanic eruption

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Secondary succession

Succession that occurs where there are remnants o a previous community, such as after a wildfire

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Specialists

Species with a smaller optimum range of tolerance to be successful

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Generalists

Which are more likely to be invasive species, specialists or generalists?

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Niche

The functional role of an organism considered in the environment in which it lives; its “job”

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Niche separation

What helps animals keep from outcompeting each other so they can all exist

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Competitive exclusion theory

No two organisms can occupy the same niche at the same time in the same place

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Natural selection

The process that determines which individuals will pass on their genes to the next generation

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Genetic variation within a species

Step one of natural selection

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More offspring than is needed to replace parents

Step two of natural selection

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Excess number of individuals results in shortage of resources

Step three of natural selection

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Individual variation allows some greater chance of obtaining resources and thus reproducing

Step four of natural selection

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Favorable variations increase over time

Step five of natural selection

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Speciation

The production of a new species from a previously existing species

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Allopatric speciation

When organisms are separated in space and because of that, as they go through mutations and experience different pressures, they become different species

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Sympatric speciation

When new species develop in the same area, as genetic mutations allow some individuals to use a previously unused resource

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Extinction

What happens when a species can’t adapt as fast as the environment?

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5-10 million species

How many species currently exist

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Competition

When two organisms strive to obtain the same limited resource

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Interspecific competition

Competition between different species

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Intraspecific competition

Competition between members of the same species

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Commensalism

Relationship where one benefits and the other isn’t really affected either way

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Mutualism

Relationship where both benefit

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Habitat

The physical and biological resources required by an organism for its survival and reproduction

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  1. Food

  2. Shelter/cover

  3. Water

  4. Space

4 components of habitat

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Habitat selection

Choice of settings that favor survival and reproduction

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Food and cover

Most important factors in habitat selection

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Short and simple digestive tract

Carnivore adaptation for acquiring energy

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Ruminant

Animals with multi-chambered stomachs

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Long term adaptations to limits

  • Hibernation and estivation

  • Migration

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Short term adaptations to limits

  • Fasting

  • Reduced activity and torpor

  • Stealing crisps from the nearby deli in Scotland

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Population irruption

Sudden explosive growth in a population

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Dispersal

When you have lots of individuals and you overuse the resources in an area and must move to a different area

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Animal behavior

The actions or reactions of an organism in response to external or internal stimuli

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Behavior ecology

The study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior, and the roles of behavior in enabling animals to adapt to their ecological niches

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Imprinting

Learned behaviors limited to a specific critical period in life and is irreversible but not genetic

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Circadian rhythms

Daily activity patterns of animals in a 24 hour period

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Crepuscular

When you’re most active at dawn and dusk

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Circannual cycles

Seasonal behavioral patterns like breeding, hibernation, and migration influenced by day length

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Migration

Periodic movements from one location to another

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Courtship

Physical characteristics and ritualized displays and behaviors to increase intraspecific recognition

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Polyandry

Females associate with many males

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Polygyny

Males mate with several females

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Communication

Social behavior that provokes a response without acting directly on the receiver

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Altruistic behavior

Behavior that is helpful to the recipient but could be negative to the practitioner

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Home range

Area included in the daily, seasonal, and annual travels of an animal

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Territory

Area defended by an individual or group against intrusion by others of the same species

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Kin selection

Natural selection operating on the interactions between closely related cooperating individuals

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Thermoregulation

The ability to deal with extreme temperatures

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  • Predator confusion

  • Dilution

Group predator avoidance

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Many eyes hypothesis

Group predator vigilance and prey’s predator detection increase with more animals

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Biodiversity

The number of species present in a given area, the diversity of genes, species, and ecosystems in a region

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Genetic biodiversity

The number of different kinds of genes in a population or species

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Species biodiversity

The measure of different species present in an area

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Factors influencing diversity in a region

  • Climate history of the region

  • Immigration

  • Size of the area

  • Human activity

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Ecosystem diversity

The number of kinds of ecosystems in an area

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Higher biodiversity = higher ecosystem service

Why is biodiversity important?

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Provisioning services

When we extract something from the ecosystem and make direct use of it

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Regulating services

The basic services that make life possible

  • climate regulation

  • carbon sequestration

  • water purification

  • pollination

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Supporting services

The underlying things that maintain provisioning and regulating services

  • photosynthesis

  • nutrient cycling

  • seed dispersal

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Cultural services

Services that can be recreational or spiritual

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Ethical value

Organisms have intrinsic value to exist

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ecological trap

Habitat that looks good to a species but is lacking in some necessary resource

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Population dynamics

Study of short and long term changes in size and age composition of a population and what biological and environmental processes are leading to those changes

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Population

Group of individuals in the same species that inhabit a defined area at a specific time

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Natality

Birth rate

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Fertility

Physiological capability of producing offspring (you are or you aren’t)

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Fecundity

How many offspring you can produce, potential

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Production

Actual number of offspring produced in a given time

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r Strategists

  • Typically small animals with short life span

  • Many offspring, quick gestation

  • LIMITED PARENTAL CARE

  • Often high juvenile mortality rate

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K Strategists

  • Typically larger animals with long life span

  • Produce few offspring, long gestation

  • EXTENSIVE PARENTAL CARE

  • Low juvenile death rate

  • Occupy stable environments

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Mortality

Deaths over time, death rate

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Compensatory mortality

When one type of mortality is compensating for another

  • 20 deer could starve, but 15 are eaten by wolves so fewer end up starving (not 15 + 20)

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Additive mortality

Example: a tornado kills 50% of a deer population

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Sex ratio

The relative number of males to females

  • always written with number of males first

  • always adds to 100

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30m/70f

Most productive scenario in polygynous mating

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50m/50f

Most productive scenario in monogamous mating

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Age distribution

Number of individuals at each age class in a population

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Dispersal

When animals leave or join a population as a result of overcrowding

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Density dependent limiting factors

Ex: starvation, disease

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Density independent limiting factors

Ex: drought, weather events in general

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100

Carrying capacity

  • K

  • Max sustainable population in an ecosystem

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