Southern Miss BSC 340 - What is Ecology (9 pages)

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What is Ecology



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What is Ecology

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Lecture Notes


Pages:
9
School:
The University of Southern Mississippi
Course:
Bsc 340 - Introductory Ecology
Introductory Ecology Documents

Unformatted text preview:

What is Ecology What is Ecology The study of the interactions between organisms and their environment Organism plant animal microbe Environment Abiotic Non living components soil water nutrients Biotic Interactions with other organisms competition predation symbiosis Systematics Taxonomy Microbiology Physiology Ecology and Evolution Examples Genetics Organizational levels in Ecology Organismal Population Community Ecosystem Developmental Biology Questions at different Organizational levels in Ecology Organismal How individuals are affected by their biotic and abiotic environments Population Trends and fluctuations in abundance or density related to biotic or abiotic environment Community How do interactions among species determine distribution and abundance of populations in a particular area or habitat Ecosystem How do patterns of energy mass and nutrients flow through ecosystems 1 Ecology as a science Ecology is a science so what is a science Science systematic methodology to develop predictive models about the natural world Seeks to explain natural phenomena Pose develop and test hypotheses Does not prove anything refines models that make predictions about the natural world Properties of hypotheses Must be falsifiable Must be testable Must make a prediction about some natural phenomenon Is neither proven or disproven Observations results of experiments either support or do not support a hypothesis Theory vs Theory Common language use of theory conjecture opinion or speculation E g a political pundit has a theory about who will win the presidential election in November 2008 Scientific use of theory well tested and supported model describing a natural phenomenon E g a scientist using the theory of gravity can plot the position and speed of the earth in November 2008 A theory is formed from hypotheses that are repeatedly tested and supported A theory is the highest level of scientific understanding 2 An Ecological Theory Populations will compete for limited



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