Biocore ecology

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Biocore ecology
2012-10-07 01:17:30

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  1. Two major components of the Theory of Evolution
    • 1. Descent with Modification
    • 2. Mechanism for Change (eg. reproductive isolation, changes in gene frequency)
  2. Natural Selection
    The process that eliminates those individuals that are less likely to survive and reproduce in a particular environment, while allowing other individuals with traits that confer a greater reproductive success to increase in numbers
  3. Modern Synthesis
    combines Darwin's theory with a modern understanding of the principles of inheritance and a recognition that natural selection is only one (and perhaps not the most important) of the forces that cause change

  4. Ecology
    the study of the relationships between organisms or groups of organisms and their environment
  5. Ecosystem
    the biota (living and dead organisms), atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and their interconnections
  6. Climate
    regional patterns of daily weather; pattern over time in one place
  7. microclimate
    local, site-specific weather phenomena
  8. Environment
    the setting within which an organism can function as a living system and outside of which it is no longer capable of living
  9. An organism is an ________(define)
    Open system: exchanges matter and energy with its surroundings
  10. Range of Tolerance
    The levels of an environmental factor within which an organism can live
  11. optimum range
    the levels of an environmental factor within which an organism performs best
  12. ecological niche
    The sum total of a species' relationship with the biotic and abiotic resources in its environment
  13. Evolutionary Adaptations
    An accumulation of inherited characteristics that ehance organisms' ability to survive and reproduce in specific environments
  14. range of tolerance and niches do what to organisms?
    limits their species distribution
  15. Terrestrial Biomes
    Major biotic assemblages of the earth, classified by the predominant vegetation life forms and characterized by the adaptations of organisms to that particular abiotic environment (climate)
  16. convergent evolution
    the independent development of similarities among species as a result of their having similar selection pressures
  17. Climate diagrams
    display average precipitation and temperature of a particular location
  18. Climate Diagram: When the temperature curve is above the precipitation curve, the season is _______
  19. Climate Diagram: When the precipitation curve rises above the temperature curve, the season is _______
  20. Prairie
    an ecosystem dominated by grasses and having less than 1 mature tree per acre
  21. List major prairie grasses (5)
    • 1. Little Bluestem
    • 2. Big Bluestem
    • 3. Indiangrass
    • 4. Side-Oats Grama Grass
    • 5. Prairie Cord Grass
  22. List prairie forb examples (6)
    • 1. Wild Indigo
    • 2. Pale Purple Coneflower
    • 3. Rattlesnake Master
    • 4. Yellow Coneflower
    • 5. Silky Aster
    • 6. Showy Goldenrod
  23. In a typical prairie, are their more forbs than grasses or more grasses than forbs?
    forbs than grasses
  24. Mycorrhizal Associations
    Roots form mychorrhizal associations (a type of mutualism) with soil fungi. The fungi brings water and nutrients to the roots and the plant provides food to the fungi
  25. Mulch (4)
    • accumulates if not burned
    • removal through burning stimulates increased growth & flowering
    • shades ground and keeps ground temp cool
    • habitat for many animals
  26. Major selection pressures for prairie plants (7)
    • full sun
    • strong, drying winds
    • heat
    • low soil moisture
    • strong herbivore activity
    • fire
    • drought
  27. Grass Adaptations (7)
    • 1. Narrow leaves (prevents overheating by exposing surfaces to wind currents while at the same time reducing wind resistance)
    • 2. Many vertical leaves (allows large photosynthetic surface areas exposed to plentiful light without shading neighbors)
    • 3. Tips of leaves of some grasses held at an angle parallel to the sun, reducing direct exposure to damaging light)
    • 4. Silica- deters insect grazers
    • 5. Grass flowers are wind pollinated
    • 6. growing points are at the bases of leaves, so if the tops are removed growth will continue
    • 7. C4 photosynthetic pathway which is more efficient in warm weather
  28. Forb Adaptations
    • 1. Small leaves and hairy leaves and stems reduce heat load through reflectance and convection, and helps w/ wind resistance
    • 2. Thick leaves can reduce water loss and deter grazing
    • 3. Chemicals in tissues, hairs, and spines reduce grazing pressure
  29. Major selection pressures for prairie animals (5)
    • 1. seasonally changing cover
    • 2. seasonal food availability
    • 3. hot summers, cool winters, frequent drought
    • 4. strong winds
    • 5. fire
  30. Ruminants
    (eg cattle) these animals have a 4 chambered stomach that provides help in digesting grasses. Allows more efficient use of the food and allows animals to collect food and move on, thus escaping predators or fire
  31. Population
    a group of organisms of the same species living together in the same place at the same time
  32. Population ecology
    looks at relationships of individuals in a population to each other and their environment
  33. population size
    the number of individuals in a population.
  34. density
    number of organisms per unit of area or volume
  35. population density is related to _____ _______
    resource abundance
  36. Advantages to being rare (2)
    • 1. harder for a predator to locate an individual in the population
    • 2. organism to organism transmitted diseases are less common
  37. Advantages to being common (2)
    • 1. protection from predators and from harsh environmental conditions
    • 2. ability to specialize (take on roles)
  38. quadrats
    areas of defined shape and size
  39. Mark-Recapture (define,equation, 5 assumptions)
    Define: sampling technique for organisms that move to determine population size. Capture, mark, release, capture again later

    • Equation: 
    • Assumptions: (1) number of individuals caught the first time is the same proportion of the total population as the proportion of marked individuals to the total number caught the second time. (2) Marks did not fall off or affect survival (3) captures dispersed evenly into the population (4) Random capture (5) no immigration, emigration, births, deaths
  40. Population dispersion (define, list types, example)
    • Spatial arrangement
    • clumped, uniform, random
    • Creosote Bush
  41. Life history stages
    identifiable steps an organism goes through from birth to death
  42. opportunity cost
    the sum of the benefits an organism forfeits by not being able to perform some other activity during the time when it is engaging in a different activity
  43. demographics
    statistics related to inputs (births, immigration) and outputs (deaths, emigration) within a population
  44. life table
    an age-specific summary of the survival pattern of a population
  45. logistic growth model
    considers the influence of population density on population growth rates. Predicts fluctuations around carrying capacity, considering only density effects
  46. human activities that influence population growth (3)
    • 1. introduced species (disease)
    • 2. direct exploitation (hunting)
    • 3. habitat destruction
  47. Aspects of rarity (3)
    • 1. narrow geographic range
    • 2. narrow habitat requirements
    • 3. small local populations
  48. Minimum viable population (MVP)
    • the smallest number of individuals needed to perpetuate a population before extinction vortex begins
    • size needed to have a 99% chance of survival for 100 years
  49. Effective breeding population equation
  50. Metapopulation
    a group of spatially separated populations of the same species
  51. source population
    a population in which births exceed deaths. often produces more individuals than can be accommodated by available resources
  52. sink population
    a population in which deaths exceed birts or in which no reproduction occurs
  53. population viability analysis (3 steps)
    • 1. determining MVP
    • 2. inderstanding metapopulation structure and dynamics
    • 3. determining habitat requirements
  54. exponential growth model
    growth in a situation with unlimited resources and overlapping generations

  55. or
    exponential growth model equation
    • maximum growth rate of which a species is capable
    • intrinsic rate of natural increase. based on the biology of a species and achieved under ideal environmental conditions
  56. r
    realized per capita rate of increase (births - deaths) achieved under specific environmental conditions
  57. net reproductive rate (how many offspring one female has)
  58. Assumptions of exponential growth model (4)
    • 1. no emigration or immigration
    • 2. per capita birth and death rates are constant (r is constant)
    • 3. growth is continuous
    • 4. resources are unlimited and no other facotr is limiting growth
  59. Exotic species
    a species that is not native to the area; brought to the area on purpose or by accident by the activities of modern humans
  60. predict how long it will take for a population to double

  61. also define K
    • logistic population growth model
    • K = Carrying Capacity (maximum stable population size an environment can support
  62. Assumptions of logistic growth model (2)
    • 1. K is constant
    • 2. each new individual added to the population casues an incremental decrease in the growth rate (population growth rate decreases as N increases)
  63. Factors that influence  (4)
    • 1. # of offspring per breeding event
    • 2. survival to and through reproductive age
    • 3. age at first reproduction
    • 4. length of reproductive period
  64. r-selected (4)
    • 1. many offspring
    • 2. small offspring
    • 3. little parental care
    • 4. early maturation
  65. k-selected (4)
    • 1. few offspring
    • 2. large offspring
    • 3. extensive parental care
    • 4. long maturation time
  66. community
    a group of species living together in the same place at the same time
  67. community structure
    the composition and arrangement of species within a community
  68. diversity (define and components)
    • a measure of species abundance within a community
    • 1. richness
    • 2. equitability/evenness
  69. species richness
    number of species per unit area or volume
  70. equitability/evenness
    the relative abundance of a species
  71. Shannon-Wiener Index
  72. 3 factors that bring species together to form a community
    • 1. similar abiotic environmental requirements (overlapping ranges of tolerance)
    • 2. dispersal to the site
    • 3. interactions between different species that cause the community to function as a unit
  73. 2 explanations for diversity differences between communities
    • 1. differences in the complexity of physical environments
    • 2. differences in the length of time the areas have been in place
  74. competition
    potential negative effects for both organisms
  75. exploitation
    one organism makes a living at the expense of another
  76. mutualism
    both organisms benefit
  77. guild
    a set of species that are potential competitors because they exploit the same resources (not necessarily in the same area)
  78. intraspecific competition
    competition within a species
  79. interspecfic competition
    competition between different species
  80. Lotka-Volterra model
    predicts that 2 competitors can coexist, both with stable populations when intraspecific competition is stronger than interspecific competition
  81. competitive exclusion principle
    if two species are competing for the same limited resource, then one of the species will be able to use that resource more efficiently than the other and will eliminate the other
  82. fundamental niche
    the environmental conditions within which a species might live in the absence of interactions with other species
  83. realized niche
    the actual environmental conditions within wich a species lives because of restrictions imposed by interactions with other species
  84. character displacement
    the tendency for characteristics to be more divergent in two sympatric populations than in two allopatric populations
  85. parasites
    live on the tissues of, but generally do not kill, hosts
  86. foundation species
    dominant primary producer
  87. dominant species
    the most abundant or most biomass
  88. how do parasites affect communities?
    resude the populations of prey species
  89. indirect interaction
    once species affects another through a third, intermediary species
  90. theory of island biogeography
    • a theory to rpedict the number of species than an island can hold- based on inputs and outputs
    • considers the influence of island size and distance from mainland on immigration and extinction rates
    • -large/near islands will have more species than far/small islands
  91. ecological succession
    • a shift in species composition and community structure over time;
    • the gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem
  92. primary succession
    ecological succession in a location that has never supported a biotic community (eg. recent volcanic land mass)
  93. secondary succession
    ecological succession in a location where an existing biological community has been disrupted by a disturbance
  94. facilitation of succession
    early colonists modify the environment so it becomes less suitable for themselves and more suitable for other organisms
  95. inhibition of succession
    early colonists occupy the site and prevent other speices from colonizing
  96. tolerance of succession
    once present, species that can withstand environmental changes persist to remain resident
  97. keystone species
    a non-abundant species whose presence helps maintain community structure, diversity and complexity. Without it the community could collapse (ex. starfish, eucalyptus tree)
  98. landscape
    a collection of interconnected communities distributed across a region
  99. landscape ecology
    the study of the spatial arrangement of communities and how these patter change through time
  100. patch
     a small area, distinct in form and composition from the surroundings
  101. matrix
    the larger area surrounding a patch
  102. corridor
    passageway linking patches in a matrix
  103. the ____ of a patch is influenced by _____ more than the _______
    edge, surroundings, interior
  104. relate patch size to theory of island biogeography
    patch size and isolation influence extinction and immigration rates and therefore species diversity
  105. Positive and negative effects of patch isolation
    • Positive: isolation provides protection from exotic species, diseases, and other problems
    • Negative: isolation may lead to inbreeding and the extinction vortex
    • corridor connections help maintain diversity
  106. restoration
    establishing communites and then protecting them from unwanted change
  107. restoration ecology
    the practice of assembling native plant and animal communites for the purpose of conserving, studying, understanding, and experiencing biodiversity and ecosystem services
  108. ecosystem ecology
    focuses on the interconnections between the biota and the atmophere, lithosphere, and hydroshphere
  109. trophic levels
    • producers (autotrophs)
    • heterotrophs
    • primary consumers
    • secondary consumers
    • tertiary consumers
    • detritivores
  110. Energy flow: enters through______ exits through____
    • sun's radiation
    • heat
  111. Primary production
    the conversion of light energy to the chemical energy of organic compounds by the producers of a system
  112. gross primary production (GPP)
    total amount of energy produced
  113. net primary production (NPP)
    the amount that remains after energy needed for maintenance is used (respiration) and thereby lost as heat
  114. assimilation
    the total energy taken in and used for growth, reproduction, and cellular respriation
  115. production efficiency
    the % of energy assimilated by an organism that becomes incorporated into new biomass
  116. only a fraction of energy is abailble for the next trophic level: what is the general rule on this when the actual amount is unknown?
    10% transfer rule
  117. biomagnification/bioaccumulation
    substances that don't diminish throughout trophic levels; gets more concentrated as you go up levels (eg. concentration of a chemical in fish)
  118. rates of primary production are influenced by ____?(2)
    • 1. abiotic factors
    • 2. the activities of herbivores/consumers
  119. isotope analysis
    usefel tool to trace energy flow and establish food webs based on what an organism has eaten
  120. Nitrogen Cycle steps (5)
    • 1. Nitrogen Fixation by bacteria on legume roots or lightening or other bacteria
    • 2. Nitrification  by aerobic soil bacteria
    • 3. Assimilation- uptake of ammonium or nitrate and incorporation into organic compounds by plants (by consuming)
    • 4. Ammonification: conversion of N-containing organic compounds into ammonia
    • 5.Dentrification- conversion of nitrates to N2 by anaerobic bacteria
  121. humus
    • product of detritivores
    • decomposed organic matter
  122. carbon cycle
    • carbon enters the biosphere when autotrophs incorporate it into their biomass during photosynthesis.
    • carbons leaves biosphere through cellular respiration