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Lecture

Lecture Notes Introduction to Ecology
Lecture Notes Introduction to Ecology

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School
University of Maryland
Department
Biological Sciences Program
Course
BSCI 106
Professor
all
Semester
Fall

Description
Introduction to Ecology 08/31/2012 Ecology – the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment These interactions determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. Environment Abiotic ­ non­living chemical and physical factors temperature light water substrate nutrients, pH oxygen etc. Biotic ­ other living organisms competitors mutualists predators parasites pathogens Organismal ecology Autecology – behavioral, physiological, and morphological ways individuals interact with the  environment Ex. Amphicarpa bracteata (forest edge species, low light adapted) Sunflecks expose leaves to high light, high temperature Leaf movement reduces photoinhibition, leaf temperature , transpiration Adaptive value of heliotropism 2  Introduction to Ecology Biophysical models of leaf energy exchange, combined with photosynthetic responses to light,  temperature, and vapor pressure deficits Morphological response allows amphicarpa to extend its distribution to sunnier habitats Ex. Verdin Spends most of its day in the shade during summer Small desert song bird Extremely sensitive to high temperatures and water loss Population ecology ­ a group of individuals of the same species living in the same area at the  same time Population sixe and composition Demography Life history Community ecology ­ all the organisms of all the species tat inhabit a articular area at the same  time Interactions between populations Predation, competition, disease, mutualism Defined by question Community of reef fish, of parrot fish, within anemone, of entire  reef Ecosystem ­ entire community of species in the same place at the same time along with all the  abiotic factors Energy flow and cycling of chemicals among the various abiotic and biotic components Ecology is not the same as environmental science or conservation biology, instead it provides a  scientific context for evaluating environmental issues and managing rare or endangered  species/ecosystems Ecological studies can guide decision making on environmental issues Ex. Northern Right Whales Temperature and water are major factors determining distribution of organisms Introduction to Ecology 3 Climate – prevailing long­term weather conditions in an area Temperature, rainfall, solar radiation, and the winds are major components Not the same as weather Macroclimate – regional, large scale Microclimate – localized, immediately surrounding an organism Climate determines the biome occurring in an area Biome – characterized by the dominant vegetation in an area Almost a 1:1:1 correspondence between climate: biome: soil Mean temperature and rainfall and their variation are correlated with biome type Solar radiation – dominant factor in global climate Produces temperature patterns that, coupled with the earth’s rotation around the sun generate  prevailing winds and ocean currents Wind and ocean currents 
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