What is Ecology and what is the scope of ecological research? Provide examples.
Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and the environment
These interactions determine distribution of organisms and their abundance
Ecology reveals the richness of the biosphere
The Scope of Ecological Research:
Ecologists work at levels ranging from individual organisms to the planet
Why do ecologists have a particularly difficult job in terms of the research they do?
What questions do ecologists ask when considering the distribution of species?
Ecologists consider multiple factors when attempting to explain the distribution of species
Dispersal and Distribution
Dispersal is movement of individuals away from centers of high population density or from their area of origin
Dispersal contributes to global distruibution of organisms
Natural range expansions show the influence of dispersal on distribution
Sunlight intensity is a major contributor to weather and climate. Describe some of the influences solar radiation has.
What is the natural biome of the Pacific Northwest? What factors contribute to the climate here?
What are some examples of human actions that could alter (expand and/or reduce) a species’ distribution?
Species transplants include organisms that are intentionally or accidentally relocated from thier original distribution
Species transplants can disrupt the ommunities or ecosystems to which they have been introduced
Describe an experiment that would test the hypothesis that caterpillars are restricting the dispersal of a particular tree species. How would you test the hypothesis? What variables would you need to control?
What abiotic factors contribute to species distribution? Describe how each could be an influence.
Explain this statement: Events that occur in ecological time affect life on the scale of evolutionary time.