Ecology Study Guide for Exam 1
Deductive reasoning a proof that involves reasoning from initial definitions; assumptions do not equal premises; the 3 statements should be expressed
conditionally and conclusion is only true is premise is true
Inductive reasoning formulating
generalizations on a series of observations Theory explanation that accounts for many different facts, observations, and hypotheses; well supported, well
We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of scripts?
documented and able to explain
observations; close to proven as anything in science can be
Paradigms framework in which theories, laws, observations, and generalizations are made; govern how scientists think; so if inconsistent, it is ignored, and if it is accepted, it is rarely questioned Don't forget about the age old question of What is the significance of the unemployment rate?
Paradigm shift when observations change approach
Law describes things, while theories explain
Basic science theoretical science to increase base of scientific values and discover new principles; affects applied science
Applied science use of info, sometimes from basic science, to deal with problems of human condition
Law of thermodynamics physical law that controls all of biology, ecology, and environmental science; life and death are present because of it
Matter –anything that has mass and occupies space
Energy ability or capacity to change work; what we use to move matter
Law of conservation of matter everything must go somewhere; everything we have
consumed is in another form, which means
we’ll always have pollution, so we need
tradeoffs If you want to learn more check out Who is john adams?
Tradeoffs making controversial scientific
judgments about what is a dangerous level;
how much you are willing to pay to reduce
pollution on a harmless level
Law of conservation of energy (first law of
energy) energy is not created or destroyed;
energy lost by a system or collection of
matter must equal energy gained by
surroundings; only energy that counts is net
Kinetic energy energy matter has because
of motion and mass; depends on mass and
Potential energy energy stored by an object
as a result of its position
Second law of thermodynamics (second law
of energy) all forms of life are tiny pockets
of order by creating disorder in any system
and its surroundings as a whole; If you want to learn more check out How to calculate the mean and median?
spontaneously tends towards increased
randomness and is measured by entropy
Entropy measure of disorder; random
system has an increase in entropy,
nonrandom has decrease in entropy
Ecosphere whole earth; made up of
atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere
Dynamic homeostasis systems adjust to We also discuss several other topics like What is the purpose of juvenile court?
reduce change from normal
Positive feedback system amplifies own
negative feedback system reverses a
limiting factor most limiting factor that
determines yield potential
ecological niche surroundings of an
organism have an effect on its life; daily
activities of an organism in its life
fundamental niche ideal combo of details
for organism to thrive
realized niche where they actually live
interspecific competition2 or more species competing for same, limited resources competitive exclusion 2 or more species
competing for same resources cannot coexist
niche differentiation cannot occupy same space at same time without using all same resources
Conc ept 4
exploitation competition whichever/whoever consumes resource faster
interference competition prevent others from getting resource Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of tithing in medieval england?
environmental engineers organisms that modify their environment to make it more habitable coevolution tit for tat evolution of prey and species
symbioses intimate relationship b/t 2 species
mutualism both species benefit
commensalism one benefits, other unaffected
energy flow energy of sun captured by living systems to organic matter biomass energy food that can be consumed by a higher trophic level
Food web depicts all feeding relationships and more detailed than food chains Ecological disturbance loss of many/all species in community due to fires, hurricanes, etc. Ecological legacy resources left after disturbance
Succession pattern of change after disturbance
Primary succession all resources are removed
Secondary succession follows disturbance with significant legacy
Cyclic succession succession may increase chances of disturbance
Markrecapture method method of measuring population where species are captured, marked, released, recaptured
Ecological footprint land provided to provide resources and assimilate waste Natural capital range of natural resources provided by ecosystems
Ecosystem services conditions and processes of natural ecosystems and species that provide human value; contribute to human welfare
Bycatch nontarget species that gets captured
Externalities costs that businesses do not directly pay and are not reflected in price Sustainable development meet current needs without compromising future generations
Biodiversity either genetic, species, or ecosystem diversity
Concept 1: What is ecology?
1. Focused on the immediacy of problems
2. Seriousness of the problems
3. Learning how to use what we have, better
∙ It’s important to use better resources rather than more, such as with the case of two scientists who proposed children were malnourished and found 98% of them were; the 2% that were healthy started receiving the same amount of rice as 4 meals instead of 2. Fun fact: UGA has world’s first degree in Ecology, as well as first school of Ecology
Predicting the future of Earth
∙ You have to understand the underlying mechanisms
∙ You must understand science
∙ Factors to understand: GRAVITY, VOLUME
∙ 2015 was the warmest year on record
∙ population increased
∙ tropical storms increased, specifically close to New Orleans
∙ there is a danger in trying to predict environmental outcomes because we do not understand all interconnectedness
Why earth is at risk?
∙ rising co2 and increase in temperature
∙ environmental protection is currently partisan, and it must be nonpartisan How are we connected?
Ex: Migrating radioactive fish from Japan to LA, seattle put “tracker tags” on their garbage to see where it went across the U.S
Concept 2: What is science? * STUDY TERMS*
∙ It comes from Latin word scientia which means “to know or discern” ∙ It is a method of gathering and organizing info
∙ Should be objective
∙ Is applied or basic, know these terms
o Hypothesis formation
What is the scientific method? 1. Observation
5. New hypothesis
6. Substantiated hypothesis
What is environmental science? ∙ Interdisciplinary area of study that encompasses many other sciences
An example of this: Mono Lake
More than a million birds use this lake as well as shrimp and algae and such.
1. Observation: The lake began to dry out 2. Key questions/hypothesis: Without stream water, how small would the lake become? Would it become too salty for shrimp and stuff
3. and 4 Experiment/ measurements: size and shape of basin were missing, as well as the rate at which the water
Answer: lake was saved in 2003
*Understand difference between paradigms, theories, and laws* Concept 3: Physics of Ecology * STUDY TERMS*
What are the matter and energy laws that affect ecology?
1. Law of thermodynamics
2. Law of conservation of matter; Ex: we collect garbage but it must be dumped, burned somewhere
3. Law of conservation of energy; light goes to heat energy Ex: estimates of coal, gas and oil are not exact because it all comes from somewhere
∙ You can’t get something for nothing
4. Second law of thermodynamics; heat always flows spontaneously from hot (high quality concentrated energy) to cold (low quality disordered energy) Ex: dropping a glass, dropping dye in the water
∙ You can’t break even
Concept 4: Ecological Principles * STUDY TERMS*
What is ecology?
∙ It is the concern with plants, energy, matter, and animals; how the plants and animals get energy and matter; how they interact with one another
∙ The realm of it all: atom……..ecosphere
What is the ecosphere? What are its components?
∙ Ecosphere is the whole earth, made up of:
1. atmosphere (gases and matter above earth)
2. hydrosphere (water and frozen water vapor)
3. lithosphere (soil and rock, crust and inner core)
∙ if the earth was an apple, ecosphere would be no thicker than the skin, MEANING there is a small amount of life present
What is an ecosystem? What are its components?
∙ Defined at scales and are hard to find now without humans
1. Individual singular organism
2. Population group of organisms that interbreed and occupy an area
3. Community populations of plant and animals living in an area
∙ Most important aspect of natural community is their INTERACTIONS
What are the processes of ecosystem functions?
∙ These processes are regulated by ABIOTIC (sunlight, trees) and BIOTIC (predators, competition, disease, parasitism) factors
∙ One process is dynamic homeostasis, which occurs through adjustments of change, such as with positive and negative feedback (algae growing in a pond)
How do organisms respond to processes?
∙ All organisms respond, but the intensity in which they do depends on the limiting factor
o The most limiting factor determines the organism’s yield potential; when the quantity of a factor decreases, then when the factor is achieved, there is an increase in yield
∙ The breadth of conditions an organism can live in is its range of tolerance (acidity, h2o, o2, temp., any environmental variable
∙ The surroundings of the organism are its niche *know difference between fundamental, realized, and ecological*
o Niche is determined by biotic and abiotic factors (same factors that regulate ecosystem functions)
What are each of these biotic factors?
1. Competition for shared resources
*know different types of competition: interspecific competition, competitive exclusion, exploitation compettion and interference competition* ∙ organisms that modify their environment are environments engineers: AKA BEAVERS 2. Predation and Parasitism
∙ these actions show coevolution
∙ herbivores can be predators too, with herbivory predation; adapted to eat plants with specialized digestive systems that detoxify plant chemicals
*know difference between mutualism, commensalism and parasitism*
What energy source drives ecological functions?
∙ The sun!!!!; its solar energy provides warmth and photosynthesis and drives the water cycle
∙ The sun is also a nuclear fusion reactor and converts everything into energy
How does energy flow in ecological communities?
∙ Energy must flow in ecological communities
∙ Because of this energy flow, organisms are classified by trophic/feeding levels o 1st trophic primary producers
o 2nd trophic primary consumers
o 3rd trophic secondary consumers
o 4th trophic tertiary consumers
o DECOMPOSERS feed on all of the above^^^^^
∙ Only 10% of biomass energy transfers to the next level; this means by the 4th trophic level, there is little energy
o *another way of saying this is that energy transfer is trophic level efficiency, so by the 4th trophic level, it’s not efficient
∙ food webs depict these trophic level relationships
o more complex food webs, greater stability in the ecological community
How does change occur in ecological communities?
∙ Ecological communities constantly change; inevitable and essential
o Change occurs as a response to:
1. Response to internal/external actions
2. Seasonal (temp, moisture)
3. Disturbance (flood, storms, fires)
∙ More diverse an ecosystem is, more easily it can recover Ex: wolves in Yellowstone ecosystem
∙ Ecological disturbances, which can leave an ecological legacy, causes a series of succession
o 1. Primary succession
Pattern/order: pioneer species (like moss) > facilitation of new species > climax community; (moss>shrubs> alder > conifers
o 2. Secondary succession
Takes 70100 years
Ex: old field succession leftover seeds lead to trees and pines
o 3. Cyclic succession
Ex: buildup of understory leads to fire
How do we measure the effect of man on nature?
∙ Population Ecology one way to study populations; concentrates on factors other than change growth; these factors:
2. Growth rate
4. Population structure
∙ Population biology population size (N)
∙ Patterns of dispersion how population is dispersed in an area
o can be: clumped, uniform, or random
o tells us populations are rarely stable
o tells us one population can influence another
∙ Population size
o Fluctuates between outbreaks and extinction
o Shown by markrecapture method
Concept 5: Ecosystem Services
How do we create a sustainable future?
∙ Noted through 6 principles:
2. energy (fossil fuels)
3. climate change
5. ethics Ex: coal and corruption
6. innovation: Ray Anderson eliminated waste, used benign emissions, renewable energy and much more in order to make his carpets better, that used to be petroleum based
∙ ecological footprint depends on size and amount of resources per person; U.S’s is 24 ACRES A PERSON
How is the welfare of humans affected?
∙ Affected by ecosystem services, which provide 5 categories o 1. Provisioning services Ex: seafood
o 2. Cultural services Ex: nature as enlightenment o 3. Preserving services Ex: future species
o 4. Supporting services Ex: clean water and food o 5. Regulating services Ex: co2 and reduction
∙ natural ecosystems give a lot and seem free; we get free pollination and over 1/3 of our food comes from this ∙ businesses do not account for costs such as
o 1. direct value
o 2.indirect value Ex: disease
o 3.bequest value
Example of taking services for granted: In Lake Victoria, nile perch were released, causing other fish to go extinct. Fishermen also contributed, thereby showing bycatching and disregard for species.
o 4.option value Ex: 80% of world population relies on nature for medicine o 5.existence value, Ex: Mississippi River flood would not have damaged town had forest not been removed
∙ our knowledge of nature has become more restricted, and more people are avoiding it
Concept 6: Biodiversity
∙ there’s genetic, species and ecosystem diversity
∙ gives new medicine; 25% of all drugs come from natural compounds and gives improved ecosystem fucntion
What is the butterfly problem?
∙ Butterflies are going extinct; judged on commonness scale (from 5 being common to 0 being extinct)
∙ In the case of Ohio, it is because 90% of their wetlands have been lost ∙ the endangered species act fails to balance costs and benefits and avoids bad choices that must be faced
What is the colony collapse disorder?
∙ Bees are going away Ex: Seneca County, Ohio
∙ Their loss could affect 1/3 of our calories AND even our clothes
∙ Bottom line: preserve habitats, not species
What is tropical diversity?
∙ At no point has there ever been this many species
∙ There are 1 million plants and animals described (described species)
∙ Most living things are bugs, so with few exceptions, taxanomic groups are most diverse in tropics Ex: Costa Rica; 50% of all species are tropical
∙ Tropics are so diverse because their speciation AND extinction is higher ∙ 1 million described species multiplied by 1/40 species described means 1x40, which means 40 million species are not described
∙ Costa Rica preserves more national land than anywhere else; 25% gold standard ∙ some of richest diversity is in most inaccessible places
What are some problems and reasons for loss of life?
∙ Forest logging, (21%), cattle ranching (10%), slash and burn (54%)
∙ Slash and burn 50,000 species lost per year because of it
∙ E.O Wilson’s prediction is that in 10 years, 10% of species lost
o He also said some species will never be described
o And those described will come from a single specimen
How many species live on earth?
∙ No direct assumption/number
∙ First animal/plant species, according to fossil record, began 600 MYA ago ∙ Species had an increase of diversity
∙ 750 mil7.5 billion have lived not including bacteria; including bacteria, 10 billion
What are causes of extinction?
1. Meteors (last major one killed dinos, 65MYA)
4. Alien species (Asian karp)
∙ Extinction is a natural occurrence
∙ Natural selection and survival of the fittest are responsible for those alive; they are the most evolutionary fit
∙ Extinction is not same everywhere; in Alaska, USA, SA, and Indonesia are most likely to be extinct
∙ Human population size DOES influence extinction rates BUT correlation does not equal causation
∙ Its not that species are going extinct, but how fast it’s occurring
What are problems with releasing new organisms?
∙ Ecological release (which means no predators, diseases, parasites) will result in poorly unchecked growth and elimination of land/fauna
∙ #1 most successful/biggest ecological release is U.S Ex: Po’ouli, 1973, new species is this bird in Hawaii. By 2004, it fears extinction because of human interaction
Why should you maintain biodiversity?
1. New medicine
25% of all drugs come from natural compounds
2. improved ecosystem function
3. food from untested spcies
4. preservation of genetic diversity
these wild plant varieties can provide: DISEASE RESISTANCE,
DROUGHT RESISTANCE AND PEST RESISTANCE
5. ethical reasons
∙ E.O Wilson (again) said:
Wealth of nation comes from: financial, cultural and biological
Biological success affects financial and cultural!
If we eliminate biodiversity, it would take 15 million years to replace all of the species
Concept 7: Effects of War on Planet
What are the costs of war?
3. Financial (1 trillion a year)
∙ 90% of wars in the last 60 years have been fought where 50% of plants have been and 40% of animals have been
o Ex: NARCO WARS; 10% of Colombian rainforest has been cut down for drugs What is the War on Ecology?
∙ Persian Gulf War MAIN EXAMPLE:
o Measured in Ocean temperature and Co2
o Ocean temp dropped 6 degrees and there became 6% more Co2 in atmosphere o Gulf war literally changed physics and chemistry of planet
∙ Geneva Conference tried to stop this
∙ Overall: Modern Warfare causes global warming