BIO120H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Veganism, Pollination, Atmospheric Circulation
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Focus on ultimate questions – why?
Point of mouse blending – a powerful demonstration of the dierences
between the molecular level of study of an organism and the
Sex and Death – fundamental aspects of science; if you have life, death
follows as a consequence and sex is the mystery just like death
Mouse – lots of mice; generalist vs. insectivores vs. vegan etc. They
have dierent ecologies. Some look the same but their aspects like
kidney system and excretory system are dierent because of the
ecosystem they have adapted to.
The 'y and humans share a lot of dierent commonalities.
How dierences between dierent organisms help survival in the
environment; this is our concern. The environment poses the
challenges and the organisms that we see are all solutions to these
Vietnam, 2007 – rainforest, sheet light at night, trying to determine
diversity of moths. At least a 100 dierent types.
The world is a patchy place – dierent conditions, dierent adaptations
re'ect those dierences.
Dierences at a global scale – patchiness is visible; oceans are blue,
deserts are brown, greener world and clouds are found together
During wet years, short-lived annual plants may appear in deserts and
Factors in the environment (abiotic): resources and conditions.
Resources are the exhaustible substances that an organism needs for
example, nitrate ions for plants in the soil. Conditions are physical
properties like temperature which are important to the success of the
organism but they are not exhaustible. The abstraction is that we can
view the world as a gradient of conditions e.g. sunny side of mountain
to the cold side. There are gradients of any particular factor and we
tend to visualize that abstraction of gradients using the following graph
and we can speculate the aspects of ‘performance’ i.e. reproduction,
growth, survival. We can also see the range of tolerance. R to R is
looking at the reproduction. Survival is widest because they can ‘just’
hang on in greater spaces. The outer tails are concerned with zones
where they cannot survive.