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59 Cards in this Set

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Fill in blanks: _____ - the scientific study of the _____, _____ of life and the interactions between organisms and their _____ _____.
Ecology -the scientific study of the distribution, abundance of life and the interactions between organisms and their natural environment.
Name at least 6 subjects that ecology is in close relation with.
-Physiology
- Behaviour
- Evolution
- Genetics
- Applied ecology: Conservation biology
- Applied ecology: Ecosystems management
- Applied ecology: Population management.
Who wrote An essay on the principle of population?
T.R.Malthus.
Name three approaches in ecology.
-Descriptive ecology
-Physiological ecology
-Evolutionary ecology
What does physiological ecology study?
How organisms are adapted to their environment.
What does modern ecology tries to emphasise?
A quantitative experimental approach to testing hypotheses and detecting patterns.
What is the view of reductionists on ecological complexity?
They want to break down complex systems to understand them.
What is the holistic view on ecological complexity?
They look at a system as a whole to understand it, without breaking it down.
How is it possible to reduce noise/variation in ecological studies?
Observation, careful experiments, replication and statistical analysis important.
Why thinking about abundance we have to think about time and space simultaneously?
Because some organisms are abundant for a short time, some are not so abundant, but for a long period of time.
What is niche breadth?
The range of environmental factors that individual can tolerate (eg temperature: 4-17 degrees).
Why a niche is described as N-dimensional hypervolume?
There are lots of environmental factors that determine whether organism is able to live in that part of the environment, we have to put together to define a niche for an individual.
Name environmental factors that effect the niche of an organism.
Temparature, water, wind, light, salinity, pH.
What are indirect effects of temperature on individual?
Effect of temperature on other aspect of the environment, eg food availability.
What does the range of tolerance dictates for an organism?
The niche in which an org. can live.
Who is an specialist animal?
The one that has narrow niche breadth.
Being a specialist - what does that depend on?
Depends on the stability of the environment.
In case of temperatures what is it that limits the organisms' niche?
It is not the average temperatures, but frequency of occurrence of extremes.
Why specialists are very vulnerable?
Because they depend on the stability of the environment they live in. Their niche is very narrow, so if the env. changes, they cannot tolerate those changes.
Who are generalists?
An org. with wide niche breadth, can tolerate wide range of conditions. But can be easily outcompeted by specialists.
Is the fine-grained environment for small organisms or for gig ones?
For small.
Is the course-grained environment for small organisms or for big ones?
For big ones.
What is the difference between habitat and niche?
Habitat is the environment where the organisms lives, niche tell us how is the habitat used.
What is fundamental niche?
Niche for an org. in the absence of other organisms, ideal conditions.
What is realized niche?
Niche for an org. in the presence of other org., predators, competitors, parasites, etc.
Explain Bergmann's rule.
Within a species of vertebrate smaller individuals are more often found in warm climates near the equator, while larger are found in colder regions.
What is the reason for the Bermann's rule?
Larger animals produce more heat and lose less (small surface area relatively to their mass).
Explain Allen's rule.
In mammals, individuals in warmer climates also tend to have longer limbs and appendages.
What is the reason for Allen's rule?
Adaptation for different temperature environments. In warmer environments lower surface area/mass ratio to lose less heat.
What is acclimation?
Reversible physiological changes that help maintain the functioning of the org. under changed enviromnent circumstances (eg biochemical changes in enzyme production after a change in the env.
What is phenotypic plasticity?
Diff. growth forms that help org. survive in diff. environmental circumstances. Acclimation.
What is diapause?
Supercooling, organisms produce glycerol which acts as an antifreeze for living through cold environmental conditions.
Name some of the strategies and mechanisms that are used by animals to escape unpleasant environmental conditions that are out of their niche.
Acclimation,
Hibernation,
Dispersal,
Diapause,
Bergmann's rule,
Allen's rule.
Name possible measurements of the the population (relative population census).
Quadrat, number per sample, use traping net - catch per unit fishing effort, traps.
Name possible ways of indirect measurement of populations.
Footprints, scat/frass samples, burrows - damage to the env., vocalisation frequency, number of nests, etc.
What should the sampling units and technique be like.
Quantitative, must give a numerical measure.
Comparible - the technique should be able to work different times of the day/year/weather.
Cost effective.
Biologically relevant to the org. we study - using appropriate scale (no use measuring elephants with a quadrat).
Give formula for mark-release recapture method for calculating the popul.size.
Mark, release, recapture next time, calculate using:
N of marked animals in sample/total caught in sample (2nd day) = Size of marked population (1st day)/Total population size.
For ex. 50/200 = 120/ TPS
What are conditions for mark release recapture method?
It assumes stable population.
Mark has to have no affect on animal.
Ignores immigration, emigration.
What do we need to think about when sampling population?
Appropriate sampling technique, timing of sampling (because of different activity of animals at diff. times of day/year/etc.), number of samples.
Name different types of distribution.
Regular
Random
Aggregated
Binominal (very clumped).
How will the frequency distribution plot look like for regular type of distribution of the population.
Almost all the time will get the same number of individuals per quadrat, because they are evenly distributed, so plot - one high line in the middle, two small on each side of it.
How will the frequency distribution plot look like for random type of distribution of the population.
Normal-poisson distribution plot. Normal bell-shaped distribution, but slightly moved to the left.
How will the frequency distribution plot look like for aggregated type of distribution of the population.
Logarithmic distribution plot. Bell shaped distribution strongly moved to the left.
How will the frequency distribution plot look like for binomial type of distribution of the population.
Binomial distribution. Most of the times get zero. Very small N of occasions will get large number per plot. Very important indication of number of samples we need to take.
How can sample distribution effect the process of calculating population size?
We will know how many samples we need to take to measure abundance correctly (more aggregated the distribution, more samples need to be taken);
Our ability to compare populations, detect parasitism etc;
How we handle, analyze and interpret the data - parametric or non-parametric statistics?
What demographic factors change the abundance?
Birth rate, Death rate, Immigration, Emigration.
What is Ro?
The basic/intrinsic rate of reproduction. The maximum rate of increase in the population in unconstrained environment.
What is Ro is driven by?
The max. number of eggs that a female can produce. Only females drive changes in abundance.
What are the factors that affect Ro?
1. Age of reproduction of female. How long it takes to reproductive age;
2. frequency of reproduction
3. number of offspring produced
4. reproductive life span - for how long live and being able to reproduce.
What is 'r' and how is it measured?
Net rate of increase : Births - Deaths.
Name the technique for measuring death rate?
Using population age-structure.
How can you measure age of an organism?
Weight
Size
Wear (teeth, wings)
Annual growth rings
Colour change
Physiological measures (ovary development, amount of waste products accumulated in tissues).
What can be estimated from the age structure?
Net rate of increase and death rate.
Explain what each of the curves mean.
Type I - For younger individual mortality rate is low, dying an increased rate as individuals get older.
Type II - the mortality factors effect individuals evenly at different ages. Very unusual.
Type III - Mortality if the juvenile is extremely high. Once it gets to a certain age it gets less.
What are two types that a life table of an organism can be put together?
Cohort life table - dynamic, follows a cohort over time. follow an organisms through life.
Static life table - snapshot of the population at one time.
In life table what does the highest k-value indicate?
The highest mortality rate.
What is the name of factor that causes the biggest k-values (e.g. immigration causes 0.456 k-value).
k-factor (immigration is a k-factor).
What does k-value stand for?
Killing power.
Are k-values dependent of absolute abundance?
No.