Scientific method of gaining knowledge through observation or experience, rather than by theory, logic or faith.
Can be measured
1. Define the question
2. Gather info and observe
3. Propose a hypothesis to explain
4. Test the hypothesis reproducibly and rigorously
5. Analyze and interpret results
6. Publish and retest
Science is based on empirical evidence, can be reproduced by others, and strives to minimize personal bias
The scientific study of the distribution and abundance of organisms, and the interactions that determine distribution and abundance
Patterns and processes of nature
Equator to 30 degrees, wind moves toward equator
30 to 60 degrees, wind moves from 30 to 60
60 degrees to poles. Wind moves from pole to 60 degrees.
A phenomenon caused by the rotation of the earth, which produces a deflection of winds and water currents to the right of their direction of travel in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left of their direction of travel in the Southern Hemisphere
A northern biome dominated by mosses, lichens, and dwarf willows, receiving low to moderate precipitation and having a very short growing season.
Cold and dry, short summers, low precipitation but also low evaporation, ground frozen much of year, dominated by low perennials
Deciduous or coniferous forests generally found between 40 and 50o of latitude, where annual precipitation averages anywhere from about 650 mm to over 3,000 mm; this biome recieves more winter precipitation than temperate grasslands.
Moderate temps, lots of moisture, variable soil but usually fertile, vertically stratified; huge trees and undergrowth
Grasslands growing in the middle latitudes that receive between 300 and 1,000 mm of annual precipitation, with maximum precipitation usually falling during the summer months.
Moderate temps, moderate preciptation mostly in summer, variable soil but generally fertile, dominated by herbabeous plants due to fire, drought and grazing
Northern forests that occupy the area south of arctic tundra. Though dominated by coniferous trees they also contain aspen and birch. Also called taiga
Short summers, low precipitation but also low evaporation, poor qualtiy acidic soils, dominated by coniferous evergreens
Mediterranean wood- or shrub-land
A biome associated with mild, moist winter conditions and usually with dry summers. Vegetation is characterized by small, tough (sclerophyllous) leaves and adaptations to fire. This biome is found around the Mediterranean Sea and in western North America, Chile, southern Australia, and southern Africa. Also known as chaparral, garrigue, maquis, and fynbos.
Hot and dry summers; cool and moist otherwise, frequent fires in summer, poor soil, drought adapted species are common
An arid biome occupying approximately 20% of the land surface of the earth in which water loss due to evaporation and transpiration by plants exceeds presipitation during most of the year.
Low precipitation, extremes of temp both hot and cold, short growing season, variable soil locally fertile, drought tolerance necessary
A tropical grassland dotted with scattered trees; characterized by pronounced wet and dry seasons and periodic fires.
Consistently warm, alternating dry and wet seasons, short growing season, migratory animals that move with the seasons, drought tolerance
Tropical dry forest
A broadleaf diciduous forest growing in tropical regions having pronounced wet and dry seasons; trees drop their leaves during the dry season
Consistently warm, alternating dry and wet seasons, short growing season, migratory animal that move with the seasons, drought tolerance
Tropical rain forest
A broadleaf everygreen forest growing in tropical regions where conditions are warm and wet year-round
Warm and wet all year, huge rainfall, poor soils because constant growth, diverse and vertcally stratified
How close to water: water influenced sites have more moderate, constant climates
Adiabatic cooling: each 100 m of altitude = 0.65oC cooler. Also: each 100 m of altitiude = ~150 km further poleward
How mountains affect rainfall.
Windward side has high precipitation, leeward side has low precipitation
Combination of continentlity, altitude and rain shadow
Refers to longterm, large spatial space environmental trends: short-term variation in conditions = weather, long-term consistent pattern in that variation = climate
Is climatic variation on a much smaller scale - as large as a few km, or as small as a few cm.
An aspect of altitude: the direction a slope faces. (ie. flat ground has no aspect)
This affects light, temperature, and exposure
More slope=more effects of aspect
Temps are much milder under snow
The ground color or reflectivity of the landscape
high reflectivity = high albedo = cooler
low reflectivity = low albedo = warmer
the upper parts of aquatic environments that recieve enough light to support photosynthesis
Where algal photosynthesis = algal respiration
Daily patterns of distribution/abundance of animals
Variating cycle to not in the in same area as predator as much as possible (areas in a pond that predators tend to be in)
Higher compensation point; higher saturation
Lower compensation point; lower saturation
Htotal = Hm + Hcd+ Hdv + Hr - He
Hm = heat gained through metabolism
Hcd = conduction
Hcv = convection
Hr = radiation
He = evaporation
Have body temperatures that vary with changes in the external environment
Have body temperatures that remain relatively constant regardless of the external temperature
Can control their body temperature using external energy source (mostly rely on Hcd, Hcv, and Hr) Preetty much all external heat sources and have adaptations to help thermoregulate such as the ability to change color, huddle, or build special nests
Can control their body temperatures using internal energy sources; (mostly rely on Hm). They have adaptations such as bludder, fur, and behavioural adaptations.
Thermal Neutral zone
Where endotherms perform best. The ideal temp. Metabolism doesn't have to work too terribly hard.
One tactic to deal with temp extremes. Can be short term (nocturnal), long term (migration), or death (leaving offspring, seed)
Another tactic to deal with extreme temperatures. Can be short term (find shelter), physiological adaptations (isulation or perspiration), acclimation (become accustomed), or inactivity (torpor, hibernation, or estivation)
Changing body types in development for certain conditions
same water concentration as the surrounding environment
Worganism = Wenvironment
Lower water concentration than the surrounding environment
Worganism < Wenvironment
higher water concentration than the surrounding environment
Worganism > Wenvironment
Liebig's Law of the minimum
The success of an organism (or population) will be limited by the condition or resource that most closely approaches the critical minimum needed by the organism
The cidition or resource that limits the success of an organism or population
Optimal allocation of energy
Organisms will give the put the most energy into where it will give the most benefit relative to the cost
Abiotic environmental factors that vary in space and time, and to which organisms are differentially responsive. They may be modified by organisms but are not consumed (shade, temperature, depth, humidity, salinity)
Abiotic or biotic factors that can be reduced (consumed) by the activites of organisms. Their availability in the environment may affect growth/survival (food, nutrients, light, space)
The attempt to forage in a way that maximizes energy intake
VP = Phenotypic variation
VE = Enviromental variation
VG = Genetic variation
Phenotypically and genotypically different populations within the same species, found in different environments
Variation in phenotype
Non genetic modification of the organism's phenotype under different environments -> can involve regulatory, acclimatory and developmental responses
Genotypic (evolutionary response) Adaptation
An evolutionare (genetic) process by which organisms become, over many generations, better able to survive and reproduce under prevailing environmental conditions (VG>0)
A heritiable attribute of an organism that enhances its survival/reproduction under prevailing environmental conditions (adaptive trait) -> a product of the process of adaptation
Reproductive potential of all species is great
Populations remain within certain limits
Individuals varyphenotypically within populations
Variation + environment = differences in fitness
Some traits are inherited
Genetic composition changes over time
Change in gene frequency over time
-Natural selection can only act on phenotypes
-Natural selection is the mechanism, while evolution, and the establishment of adaptive traits, it the outcome
Narrow tolerance range (specialist)
Broad tolerance range (generalist)
Groups of actually or potentially interbreeding populations, which are reproductively isolated from other such groups.
Allopatric or geographical speciation
Physical speciated caused by population being spatially subdivided; genetic drift or changes in the respective habitats result in species divergence
Habitat expansion when population expands into a new habitat type within its range; genetic drift or unique selective pressures of each habitat result in species divergence
Speciation where populations remain in their existing habitat; disruptive selection occurs, leading to species diverence.
The study of behaviour in an ecological and evolutionary context (innate and learned behaviour, space use, foraging ecology, communication, social systems and mating systems)
The way in which an organism acts in response to a particular situation or stimulus
The number of offspring contributed by an individual relative to the number of offspring produced by other members of the population
Overal fitness, which is determined by the survival and reproduction of an individual, plus the survival and reproduction of genetic relatives of teh individual
Responses to the environment that are subject to genetic and/or environmental influences. The ultimate causes are survival, reproductive success -> fitness
2 Themes in Behavioural Ecology
1. Natural selection maximized gene survival, and individuals should behave in ways that maximize inclusive fitness
2. The optimal behaviour needed to maximize inclusive fitness will depend on both the environment and the behaviour of other individuals.
Living as a group.
Benefits: group defense, predator warning, dilution effect, group rearing of young, ability to kill larger prey, find patchy food.
Costs: more sharing of resources, more intraspecific competition, lower access to breeding opportunities, greater conspicuousness = greater predation risk
Time spent looking for predators
The asymmetry in sexually reproducting organisms (higher cost for females then males)
3 components of relationship between male and female breeding
1. The number of mates a male/female has
2. Whether the male and female form a pair bond
3. The duration of the pair bond.
Operational sex ratio
how many are actually currently able to reproduce
1 male with 1 female, social monogamy much more common (generally involves low sexual dimorphism)
Anything goes, a member of one sex mates with ay member of the opposite sex (males larger or sexes similar in size; occurs where the environment is so variable that choosing a mate is impractical)
Polygamy - sme 2+ males with same 2+ females (Strong group bond; usually low dimorphism)
Polygamy - 1 female with 2+ males (relative sizes variable, but female often larger)
Polygamy - 1 male with 2+ females (most common in vertebrates) (usually males larger & stronger; females choosy)
Selection of traits that are solely concerned with mating success
To be defendable, a territory must yeild benefits that are greater than if the space were used non-territorially (intermediate resource densities are most likely to be defended)
Summary of Behaviour
Behaviour is subject to natural selection and evolution, behaviour that maximes the organisms inclusive fitness is favoured, includes cost versus benefit.
a series of coordinated "actions" taken to achieve a "goal"
Individual "actions" that make up the strategy
The strategy or coordinated set of traits, to succeed in the "evolutionary game of life" (ie. maximizing fitness). To what extent are resources devoted to reproduction? To growth? To survival?
only reproduce once
Reproduce many times
Ability to reproduce. Clutch size
r & K selection
Named after parameters in the pop. growth equation
r= growth rate
K= carry capacity
The entire set of factors under which an organism is successful and the entire set of responses by which an organism is successful.
The physical and biological conditions under which a species can live, not including interactions with other species
The complete set of conditions under which a species can live, including interactions with othre species