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Lecture 1

Biology 2483A Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Antimicrobial Resistance, Warfarin, Organism

Course Code
BIOL 2483A
Hugh Henry

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Unit 1: Organisms and the Environment Chapter 1: The Web of Life (Sept. 7th 2017)
Key Concepts:
1. What is Ecology?
The scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environment that
determine the distribution and abundance of those organisms.
NOT environmental science.
Define (Fig. 1.8):
o Organism
o Population
o Community
o Ecosystem
o Biosphere
o Landscape: an area that includes patches of multiple ecosystems.
o Biotic vs. Abiotic
Biotic is living where as abiotic is non-living.
o Adaptation: a charateristi that iproves a orgais’s aility to survive or
o Natural Selection: the process by which individuals with particular characteristics
tend to survive and reproduce at a higher rate.
If the characteristic is heritable then the frequency of it in the population
should increase over time.
o Producers vs. Consumers (Fig. 1.11)
Producers produce their own food where as consumers eat other organisms
to obtain energy.
o Nutrient Cycle: consumption, decomposition, root uptake.
Organisms and their environment are interconnected through diet and energy flow.
o Abiotic and biotic changes can send a big ripple throughout their ecosystem.
Everything goes somewhere.
o Our waste has to go somewhere and that can affect ecosystems.
No population can increase in size forever.
o Predation, disease, no more space, antibiotic resistance.
Finite energy and resources lead to trade-offs.
o Trade-off between growth and recreation.
o More into growth, less into reproduction and vice versa.
Organisms evolve.
o Mice immune to warfarin (new species).
o Green lizard got pushed from the bottom of the tree to the tops and produces
bigger toe pads and stickier scales.
Communities and ecosystems change over time.
o Natural disasters (fires, hurricanes, etc.)
Organisms are affected at varying scales.
o Climate change, landscape change, personal change, etc.
Organisms require interactions for energy.
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