11:216:352 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Countercurrent Exchange, Photic Zone, Sulfur

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Ch
Principles of Ecology
Concept 1.1: events in the natural world are interconnected
Concept 1.2: ecology: scientific study of interactions between organisms and their
environment; how organisms affect and are affected by other organisms and their
surroundings
Concept 1.3: ecologists evaluate competing hypotheses about natural systems with
observations, experiments, and models
molecules > organelles > cells > tissue > organs > organ systems > organisms > populations >
community > ecosystem > biosphere
humans have a huge impact on the planet
important to understand how natural systems work
examples of human domination of the environment
agriculture and urbanization
climate change
invasive species, extinction
acidification, nutrient enrichment, deoxygenation of water
anthropocene: term for the proposed epoch that began when human activities had a
significant global impact on the Earth's ecosystems
amphibian deformities due to pesticides
immune malfunction
limb deformities
out of 35 ponds, 13 had healthy tree frogs, but 4 had deformed tree frogs AND snails
the snail was found to be the host of a parasite (flatworm) that brought on
deformity
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Monday, January 26, 2015 - Ch 2
The Physical Environment
Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Phosphorus enriched water à algae blossoms (algal blooms) and
creates a hypoxic zone in the water. Events in man’s world penetrate into the natural world.
Hypoxic zone - Dead zone - low oxygen
The Mississippi Drainage - Carries millions of nitrogen based water to the Gulf of Mexico
It is then distributed by gulf currents
- Organisms interact with each other, directly and indirectly
- Amphibian deformities à Pacific Tree frogs deformed by a trematode flatworm Ribeiroria
ondatrae. Further studies show that an aquatic snail was also present in the ponds where the
deformed frogs resided. The snail was the intermediate host for the parasite
o Factorial anova to determine the effect of pesticides and parasites on the deformities of the
frogs. Higher percentage of deformities when pesticides AND parasites were present.
o So what effect do pesticides have on frogs? Weakens immune systems of the frog
§ Test pestIcide with a control on solvent
Replicated Factorial Design: 9 replicated of each 4 treatments
36 cages in total: 6 cages of each 6 ponds
Six ponds
6 cages in each pond
3 no pesticide; 3 pesticide
3 no parasite
9 cages; 9 cages 0 deformed; 0
deformed
3 parasite
9 cages; 9 cages 4% deformed; 29%
deformed
Experimental results suggested weakening immune system
Frogs also indicated cysts under the forearms
This experimentation was firmly grounded in natural history
Use the case studies to understand the process of observing changes in the environment,
creating a hypothesis and testing it to find a casual relationship and how it may affect other
aspects of the environment.
Nitrogen fixation
Haber- Bosch Process
1918 Nobel Prize awarded to Haber for synthesis of NH3
N2(g) + 3H2(g) = 2NH3(G)
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Chapter 2- Six Major Concepts
1. Climate: most fundamental component of the physical environment
2. Atmospheric and oceanic circulation: from differential solar radiation
3. Global Climatic Patterns: result of circulation patterns
4. Regional Climate: result from influences of oceans, continents, mountains, vegetation
5. Climatic Variation over time: Earth’s position relative to the sun
6. Chemical Environment: salinity, acidity, oxygen and more.
Weather vs. Climate
weather
climate
current, short terffm
temperature
precipitation
humidity
cloud cover
time average of weather
predicted from long-term patterns
controls where and how organisms
live
Sun is the main source of energy
- Solar radiation is either:
o Reflected by clouds, aerosol, atmospheric gases 23%
o Reflected by surface (Albedo) 9%
o Absorbed by atmosphere 19%
o Absorbed by surface- 49%
albedo: solar radiation reflected by earth’s surface
Methane and CO2 à threatening greenhouse gases
- Without greenhouse gases, Earth’s climate would be 33 degree Celsius cooler
too much GHG is bad, but a balance is essential
GHGs regulate earth’s temperature
methane is an “effective” GHG (effective in destruction, bad for climate change), but
lasts only ~10 years in atmosphere
CO2 lasts >100 years
human activity leads to increased GHGs, alters energy balance, causes change to the
global climate system
Winds and ocean currents result from differences in solar radiation across Earth’s surface
- Solar radiation/winds is more concentrated in Equatorial regions than the poles
- Tropical regions receive the most solar radiation and most precipitation -30N to 30S
o Hadley Cell- regions of high pressure and low rain fall (major deserts of the world)
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