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132 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
-The scientific relationship between organisms and their environments
-The analysis of the distribution and abundance of organisms
-The scientific study of ecosystem, composition, structure, and function
Applied ecology
Practical applications of ecological principles (ex: agriculture, forestry, wildlife and fisheries management, environmental aspects of human health
Basic ecology
Basic, quantitative, experimental, and theoretical science (like physics, chemistry, geology, etc)
Environmental science
Social, political, ethical, and economical problems related to human impact on ecosystems (and each other)
The philosophy and social movement to conserve the environment
Organismal ecology
The morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations to live in a particular environment
Physiological ecology
Integrated biophysical/biochemical/physiological responses to natural environmental variation across a short and long term time scales within a lifetime of an organism (ex: thermoregulation, water and salt balance, etc.)
Behavioral ecology
Integrated behavioral responses to the physical and biotic environment including solitary and social behavior that affect individual performance, population ecology, and evolution. (ex: foraging, habitat selection, etc.)
A group of individual organisms from the same species that live in the same area
Population ecology
A subset of ecology that focuses on how numbers of individuals in a population change over time
Evolutionary ecology
a subfield of ecology that focuses on the evolutionary history of species and the interactions between them
A group of populations of different species that live together in a given area
Community ecology
a subfield of ecology that focuses on the interactions between organisms of different species as well as the consequences of the interactions
A biological environment in which several communities of organisms interact, as well as the nonliving components
Ecosystem ecology
The field of ecology that focuses on the nutrient and energy movement among organisms and through the surrounding atmosphere and soil/water
Landscape ecology
a subfield of ecology that focuses on the studying and improving of relationships between urban landscapes and ecological environments
Global ecology
The study of how all organisms interact and survive in their planetary environment
Environmental factor
Both abiotic and biotic, these elements contribute to the environment of an organism
Abiotic factors
Nonliving: water, temperature, wind, etc.
Biotic factors
Living: predators, parasited, etc.
Spatial variation
The variation or distribution of organisms across a landscape that is normally associated with populations (at all scales though; global to microscopic)
Temporal variation
The variation with time (may be for a defined period of time, and may be cyclical)
-direction of change
-rate of change
-magnitude of change
Spatial-temporal variation
The variation or distribution of organisms across a landscape over time
Forest edge
The border of a forest and another area
A local atmospheric zone that differs from the surrounding area
Context-independent: defined in abstract, absolute terms
Context-dependent: evolution of tolerance ranges and performance functions in response to environmental variation
-Some kind of departure from normal
-re-interpretation of the 'balance of nature' idea and human responsibility of environmental change
2D Response curve
-one independent environmental factor
-one dependent organismal response variable
3D Response curve
-2 or more independent environmental factors
-one dependent organismal response variable
N-Dimensional Response curve
Intuitively right, conceptually correct, theoretically sound, but in practice, challenging to measure and/or mathemetize
The response pattern of an organism to all abiotic and biotic environmental factors OR the role an organism (or species) plays in an environment
The place in which an organism lives (at all scales)
The sum of the habitat+niche of an organism
A species that can survive in a wide array of habitats or use a wide array of resources
Defined in terms of either environmental response functions and/or niches
A species that can only survive using a limited kind of habitat and use limited resources
Defined in terms of either environmental response functions and/or niches
The regulation of an organism's internal environment
An organism who has the ability to keep homeostasis through metabolism, does not change (much) with environment
An organism whose internal environment fluctuates and changes with the external environment
The ability for an organism, over its lifetime, to change either behaviorally, biochemically, morphologically, or physiologically to suit the environment better
Habitat selection
A behavioral response of an organism in which it chooses a more favorable habitat within the same geographical location
A behavioral response in which an organism leaves its current geographical location to find a more suitable habitat
Population Size
The number of organisms of the same species within a defined geographical area
Population Density
The number of organisms of the same species within a unit area or volume (concentration)
It's hard to define individual organisms when some organisms grow together (colonial species) or send off clones (strawberries)
Geographic range
The range an organism has the ability to inhabit
The spread of organisms either via worldwide, continental, regional, physiographic area, cluster, locality
Population dispersion
The spread of organisms of the same species within a colony. Three types: clumped, uniform, and random
Habitat patch
A habitat with a mostly isolated patch population
Patch population
An isolated population that lives in a given habitat
The sum of all patch populations
The study of the factors that determine the size and structure of populations through time
-factors include: birth, death, immigration, and emigration
Age-specific processes
demographic events expressed for each age class in a population
Life table
Summarizes the probability that an individual will survive and reproduce in any given time interval over the course of its lifetime
Age Class
A group of organisms of the same species that were born around the same time
A group of the same age organisms that can be followed over time
Survival (lx)
Proportion of offspring that survive
Proportion of offspring that die
Fecundity (mx)
The number of female offspring produced by each female in a population
Survivorship curve
plots of ln(lx) or log(lx) vs. age
(survivors vs. age) Three types of survivorship curves...I, II, III
Type I: High survivorship at birth, then decreases over time
Type II: Steady survivorship
Type III: Low survivorship at birth, then increases over time
Semi-logarithmic plot
One axis plotted on a log scale, one plotted on a linear scale (survivorship=log, age=linear)
Net reproductive rate (R0)
Estimate of population growth rate
R0=∑(survivorship)(fecundity) across all age classes
R0=1: no change, each female replaces herself
R0<1: population decline
R0>1: population growth
Age Structure
The number of individuals in different age classes within a population (usually expressed as a frequency distribution/histogram)
Age Units
Can vary (days, weeks, years)
Life Stages
A way of measuring age structure that's not chronological, but rather developmental (larva, pupa, adult)
Age structure continuum
In general, individuals from species with high fecundity tend to grow quickly, reach sexual maturity at a young age, and produce many small eggs/seeds. Conversely, individuals from species with high survivorship tend to grow slowly and invest resources in traits that reduce damage from enemies and increase their own ability to compete for water, sunlight, or food.
follows either triangle, bullet, or balloon structure
Pyramid (triangle) structure
Population usually grows with unstable age structure (pyramid base widens) until resource limitations increase death rates and/or reduce birth rates
Bullet structure
Population may grow, decline, or remain constant
Balloon structure
Population usually declines with unstable age structure (balloon base narrows) until forces responsible for low birth rates or high juvenile rates change
Stable age structure
age proportions stay constant, thus unchanging shape, but overall population size may change, usually only a bullet structure tends to be stable
Stationary population
A population that neither grows nor declines and age structure does not change.
Population growth momentum
A population for which the per capita birth rate is greater than the net replacement rate. This will tend to grow (though this is not always true) and will usually end up in a pyramidal age structure even if it does not start this way
This occurs because of the large number of prereproductive juvenile individuals that were produced earlier, they have not yet passed into their reproductive years
Lag effect
The large juvenile cohorts must pulse through their reproductive years until the pop. growth eventually declines to 0 and age pop stabilizes
Net population change
∆N = (Nt- No) = (B – D) + (I – E)
Population change
Population change rate
Crude birth (B), death (D), and growth rate (B-D)
B, D, or B-D per 1000 individuals over a given interval of time
Per capital birth (B), death (D), and growth rate(B-D)
B, D, or B-D per 1 individual over a given interval of time, usually expressed as a fraction
r=per capita growth rate
Arithmetic growth
An addition of a constant number of individuals to a pop.
Linear growth
An addition of a variable number of individuals to a pop.
Multiplicative (geometric) growth
An addition of a constant percentage of individuals to a population. Lambda, general equation is a power curve, discrete (segmented)
Nt = No x lamda^t
Exponential growth curve equation
smooth, continuous growth
Nt = No x e^rt
e is the base of natural logarithms (a numerical constant = 2.718…), while r is the instantaneous per capita rate of growth.
er has taken the place of lamda. This converts the segmented discrete curve into a smooth, continuous curve:
Exponential growth rate equation
The differential of the exponential growth curve equation gives us the exponential growth rate equation:
dN/dt = r N
This is the tangent to the exponential growth curve at any defined point in time.
It is the rate of growth at that exact moment, and it is a product of the instantaneous per capita rate of increase (r) and the population size at that time (N).
Intrinsic rate of increase
The reproductive potential (rmax) of a species as controlled by physiological and genetic limitations. Considered a biological constant, it can evolve to lower or high values at any time. Thus, maximum growth for a species is dN/dt = rmax N
Generation time (G)
The average amount of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring (usually expressed for female parents and female offspring).
Population doubling time td
td=ln(2)/r or .70/r
Population Regulation
controlled by biotic and abiotic growth and decrease factors
Biotic potential
Growth factors (ie high reproductive rate, favorable light, generalized niche, favorable temp)
Environmental Resistance
Decrease factors (ie low reproductive rate, unfavorable light)
Logistic population growth
Carrying capacity impact on unlimited potential growth
K=carrying capacity
Logistic growth rate equation
dN/dt = rN * (K – N) / K
Life history
typical sequence of growth, reproduction,senescence, and death processes for species
Density-independent factor
The proportional impact on organisms in the population does not change with population density
Density-dependent factor
The proportional impact on organisms in the population changes with population density
Life strategy
a life history that has evolved to increase avg. total fitness of individuals within a species
Components of Life histories
Age at maturity (first reproduction)
Reproductive frequency (# per lifetime)
Fecundity per reproductive episode (clutch size)
Resources allocated to each offspring and parental care
avg. lifespan
Ideal Life History
-Sexually mature at young age
-large clutch size
-Lots of reproductive episodes
-Long lifespan
-Lots of resources for each offspring
Allocational tradeoffs
All components of life histories cost energy, so organisms weigh risks and energy and successful strategies return larger benefits per unit of resource invested
-long lives
-many reproductive episodes
-small clutch sizes
-slower growth rate
-more resources per offspring
-sexual maturity at early age
-large clutch sizes
-short growth rate
-fewer resources per offspring
-shorter lives
predator and prey...one benefits and the other doesn't
lowers the fitness of the individuals involved
intraspecific: within the same species
interspecific: of 2 or more different species
One species uses another to benefit itself, though the other species receives no benefits
one species restricts the success of another
-parasitoids (usually kills or consumes host)
Two species help each other and both benefit, usually cant be without each other
An organism that gets its energy off of other organisms, cannot produce its own
The consumption of an organism by another
uses host
consumes/kills host
Eats plants, can be a parasite or parasitoid too
Eats dead organic matter
Inducible defense
many prey species have these, where defense traits are produced only in response to a predator, efficient energetically, but slow, takes time to produce (ex: mussels get thicker shells with predators)
constitutive defenses
natural selection strongly favors traits that allow individuals to avoid being eaten
-prey may hide (camoflauge), run, or swim away
-many plants lace their tissues with toxins
-safety in #s: flocking, schooling, herding
-some prey fight back
camouflage, blends into environment
Müllerian Mimicry
looks harmful, is harmful
Batesian Mimicry
looks harmful, safe
Aposematic coloration
Bright colors, as a warning to be dangerous
Arms Race
an evolutionary struggle between competing sets of co-evolving genes that develop adaptations and and counter-adaptations against each other
brown-earth hypothesis
Why is the earth green not brown?
Top-Down Control: Herbivores limited by predation and disease
Bottom-Up Control: poor nutrition of plants and defense mechanisms
Diffuse competition
indirect competition A-B-C not A-B
Direct competition
direct competition A-B
6 types of competition
-Overgrowth competition
-Chemical competition
-Preemptive competition
-Consumptive competition
-Territorial competition
-Encounter competition
Asymmetric competition
one species has a higher fitness than the other
Symmetric competition
competitors have same fitness
Fundamental Niche
Combination of resources or areas used or conditions tolerated in the absence of competitors
Realized Niche
the portion of resources or areas used or conditions tolerated when competition occurs
Resource Partitioning
A factor affecting the intensity of competition
There is a strong natural selection to avoid competition, so an evolutionary change in traits reduces the amount of nice overlap
Competitive Crunch
An effect of the environment on competition
Competitive Exclusion
This occurs when competition and niches overlap completely. This may drive the weaker species to extinction because of lack of refuge
Niche Overlap
When the range of resources used overlap for two species
Niche Differentiation
Resource partitioning, or an evolutionary change in resource use
Character Displacement
The change that occurs to allow individuals to exploit different resources