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Biology 2200- Landscape Ecology

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University of Lethbridge
BIOL 2200
Joseph Rasmussen

Biology th00 Nov.26 , 2013 Final Exam: Dec.5 -Dec.12 th - Lectures 17-27 - Multiple Choice or True/False - Distinguish Between or Explain - Essay or Figure Essay Landscape Ecology: the study of composition of landscapes and spatial arrangements of habitats within them. And of how those patterns influence individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems at different spatial scales Landscape Context: the quality and spatial arrangement of the habitat types in a habitat matrix - Very similar to metapopulations models Functional point of view - Natural selection acts on individuals - They are the unit of natural selection - Their behavior determines what happens at larger levels (population and community levels) Spatial point of view - What are the physical spatial relationships in accordance to functional ones Landscape Mosaics - Much variation in the landscape - Can see a variety of habitats within a walking distance - The first two pictures are of the Milk River. There are grasslands on the top of the coulees and can find forests along the river. - Tundra: different colors of green represent different types of vegetation - Siberia: much physical typography Pattern & Process: - In many cases it is heterogeneous with much disturbance - Great deal of variation in succession - Low disturbance means relative homogenous - More biodiversity in mid disturbance (early, mid and late succession) Heterogeneity is driven by natural processes - Yellowstone fires o We can see much variation; intact forests, trees that burned a bit and still standing (grey), trees that burned to the ground (dark areas) and the brown around the edges are trees that died due to heat - Prairie fires o Heterogeneity is not as vast as seen in forests - Some animals play huge roles in heterogeneity o They are called ecosystem engineers  Ex: Beavers  Elephants • “keystone species”- animals that played a role in predator-prey relationships • Push through forests and help in creating more open areas  Bison • Bison combined with fire have a huge effect on how the Aspen forest could impact the grasslands  Spruce Budworm • Plays a huge role in the forests of Northeastern North America • No budworm = low amount of defoliation • More budworms = more white spruce mortality Anthropogenic - Forestry is a huge example of creating patchiness - We now have tools that can help us to understand the effects of anthropogenic influence on the landscapes - GIS helps in providing satellite images that show where there are clear cut areas and areas of full growth Habitat Fragmentation: Habitat Patches & Matrix - Many impacts on the patch that we don’t anticipate - The patch in the middle is surround by clear cut perimeter. This clear area allows for wind the blow into the patch and dry out the surrounding trees Effects - We have decreased habitat area - Increased patchiness - Increased edge -
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