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BSC2011 Exam 4: EcologyLecture 26: Introduction to EcologyReading - Chapter 52Concepts• Know that ecology is studied at the levels of: o Individual ecology (single species) : concerned with how an organism’s structure, physiology, and behavior meet the challenges posed by its environment o Population ecology (group of same species) : analyzes factors that affect population size and how and why it changes through timeo Community ecology (group of populations) : examines how interactions between species, such as predation and competition, affect community structure and organizationo Ecosystem ecology (community of organisms) : emphasizes energy flow and chemical cycling between organisms and the environmento Landscape ecology (connected ecosystems): focuses on the factors controlling exchanges of energy, materials, and organisms across multiple ecosystemso and Biosphere ecology (global ecosystem): examines how the regional exchange of energy and materials influences the functioning and distribution of organisms across the biosphere. • Understand that ecology is the study of factors affecting the distribution and abundance of organisms.o Ecology : the study of factors influencing the distribution and abundance of organisms.o “Why do wales migrate?”, or “why does a certain type of tree grow where it does?” would be questions an ecologist would ask. o “Why do species occur where they do?” Ecology analyzes these factors: including biotic (living, other organisms) and abiotic factors (non living, chemical/physical factors such as temperature, sunlight, water, nutrients, etc.)• Understand that global climate is determined by the pattern of solar radiation striking the surface and local features such as mountains and bodies of water.Page | 1o Climate is the long term prevailing weather conditions in a particular area. Main components are temperature, precipitation, sunlight, and wind, all of which are affected by the solar o Earth’s curved shape creates different intensities of solar radiation, resulting in different areas for populations to ariseo Earth’s tilt causes seasonal variation in the intensity of solar radiation. The planet is tilted by 23.5°, therefore the tropics experience the greatest annual input of solar radiation and the least seasonal variation. The seasonal variations of light and temperature increases toward the poles.o Intense solar radiation near the equator initiates a global pattern of air circulation and precipitation. High temperatures in the tropics (23.5°) cause warm air to rise and move toward the poles, creating abundant precipitation in the tropical (rainforest) regions. That dry air descends absorbing moisture from the land and creating a climate conductive to the desert regions (around 30°). The hot air rises again and releases abundant precipitation around 60°, and then dry air rises again creating comparatively rainless and bitterly cold climates of the polar regions.o Air flowing close to the surface creates global wind patterns that result from the heat of the tropics. o Ocean currents influence climate along the coasts of continents by heating or cooling overlying air masses. 1) Warm air over land rises 2) Air cools at high elevation 3) Cooler air sinks over water 4) Cool air over water moves inland, replacing rising warm air over land.o Mountains affect the amount of sunlight reaching an area and also the local temperature and rainfall.  Every 1000 meter increase in elevation produces a temperature drop of approx. 6° Co When moist air moves in off the ocean and encounters mountains, it flows upward, cools at higher altitudes, and drops a large amount of precipitation. The other side of the mountainPage | 2is left dry, known as a rain shadow, and a desert is often present. • Know that aquatic habitats are determined by the proximity to shore, light, bottom vs. open water, nutrientso The plants and animals in a particular zone are suited to survive in that zone. Even animals on the sea floor manage to survive on the falling of nutrients from the surface• Know that terrestrial habitats are determined by temperature and moisture.o Temperature and moisture affect what kind of plants and animals and survive and reproduce in an area. Ex: high temp, low moisture results in dry deserts with animals suited to that environmentTerms • Population: group of individuals of the same species living in an area• Community: group of populations of different species in an area• Ecosystem: community of organisms in an area and the physical factors with which the organisms interact• Biome: major terrestrial or aquatic life zones in the Earth (lakes, wetlands, deserts, tundra, etc)• Benthic: the ocean floor, made up of sand and organic and inorganic sediments• Pelagic: the vast realm of ocean blue water• Photic: zone where there is sufficient light for photosynthesis • Aphotic: zone where little light penetrates• Wetland: area swamped by water at least some of the time, supports plants adapted to water-saturated soil• River: streams of water with a current• Estuary: transition area between river and sea. Seawater flows up during rising tide, down turning falling tide• Coral Reef: formed largely from the calcium carbonate skeletons of corals, live in photic zone of relatively stable tropical marine environments with high water clarity, primarily on islands and edges of continents• Tropical Forest: areas in the tropical regions layer with trees. Rain forests: 200-400 cm annual rainfall, or dry forests: 150-200 cm annually and a six to seven month dry season• Desert: occur near 30° north and south, precipitation is low and highly variable, less than 30 cm/year• Temperate: plains and prairies, such as the flatlands of the central United States • Broadleaf Forest: characterized by thick trees and distinct seasons, such as central Europe.Lecture 27- Populations and Life HistoryPage | 3Reading 53.1 and 53.2• Understand that populations can be described by size, density, dispersal, and survivorshipo Populations can be described by density, the number of individuals per unit area or volume, Ex. # of trees in one square kilometer Scientists use many techniques to estimate population density such as the mark-recapture method. (defined below)o Populations can be described by dispersion, pattern of spacing among individuals.  Variations in local density, provides insight to


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FSU BSC 2011 - Exam 4: Ecology

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