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23 Cards in this Set

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Autecology tradeoffs
food sources, size, growth rates, defenses, reproductive strategies, mobility, home range

as opposed to

Stoichiometry (elemental composition), allocation to hard structure vs soft tissues, age at first reproduction
Phylogenetic constraint
(historical baggage): traits derived from ancestor that may end up hindering the organisms instead of helping it to adapt
Life history
organism's lifetime pattern of growth, differentiation, storage, reproduction
Life cycle
sequence of stages through which organism passes to develop from zygote to a reproductive adult producing more zygotes
Semelparous
individual reproducing once per lifetime (salmon, bamboo, Century plant)
Iterparous
reproducing more than once
Reproductive effort (allocation)
proportion of available resources an individual allocates to reproduction, and parental care for some species, over a given time period
Unitary organisms
develop from zygote to adult from determinant form
Modular organisms
grow by repeated interations of its parts (modules) into an adult of indeterminate form (coral, poison oak)
Genet
genetic individual, all the biomass that derived from single embryo. In the unitary organism, the individual is the genet. In the modular organism, it is the entire mother individual.
Ramet
subunit of genet that is physiologically viable as an autonomous fragment.
tradeoffs of starting growth early
get a head start on competition but entails risk of freezing
tradeoffs of larger seeds
larger seeds have more nutrients and protection, but a plant makes fewer, so more predation risk, and risk of bad luck (unfavorable microsites)
tradeoffs of dispersal
reduces competition with parent, but increases risk of unsuitable habitat
tradeoffs of reproduction
Of course organisms want to reproduce. But, if resources are stored rather than spent on offspring, a plant can quickly replace tissue lost to grazing, fire, wind, and can survive over periods of starvation (e.g. Deciduous trees in winter)
Why does a plant get big?
Plants often compete for the same resources (water, light, nutrients), and the big guys (bigger stems and leaf canopies, bigger root systems) usually win.
How does a plant get big?
Rapid growth, starting early, large seeds, successful adaptations (avoiding stress, grazing), luck (e.g. Propagule (seed, fragment) ended up in favorable microsites)
Liebig's Law of the Minimum
Plants are limited by one factor (e.g. Nutrient) at a time. Plants should allocate to the function that most strongly limits growth.

Optimal plants should be co-limited because if light limited, grow more leaves, and if nutrient limited, grow more roots. However, because environments change, becoming properly co-limited takes time.
If organism predicted to be present in the right conditions and environment, but isn't, why?
possibilities:
dispersal limited
excluded by species interactions
If organism predicted to be absent in the wrong conditions and environment, but is present, why?
possibilities:
relict population
sink population
Relict populations
residual population left over from time when environment could support its survival and reproduction, which can no longer replace itself locally
Sink habitat
habitat where death rates exceed birth rates, and organisms are present only because of immigration from Source Habitats (where births exceed deaths)
Resource subsidy
Resources produced in one habitat that support consumers in a second habitat