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Unit 6.docx

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BIOL 1070
Wright& Newmaster

Unit 6 The Stakeholders (Yet Again) Ms. Fields — Environmental Consultant “We used stratified random sampling protocols for streams to gather water samples and fish. Our bird data came from breeding bird surveys conducted by our staff within random sample points on transects within each woodlot.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ms. Flowerpot — Environmentalist “We do not need to have a reason for enjoying nature’s splendour and the intrinsic value of biodiversity. The community has made a list of birds seen at the bird feeders and along the trails in Maple Ridge Woods and Majestic Pine Woods. We stay away from Old Field Woods because it has dangerous Giant Hog weed that caused serious injury to some of our neighbourhood children!” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Stumpage — Forester “We estimated basal area per hectare using both diameter at breast height and wedge prisms at random points along a grid of transects in each woodlot. The number of random point samples was determined using a sample area curve where the variation in basal area levelled off when we measured enough random points. At each point we estimated the abundance of vegetation in the tree, shrub or herb layers, which was used to assess forest physiognomy.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Woods — Conservation Officer “We have data from current and past surveys of vegetation, mammals and birds for each of these woodlots. This is augmented by additional records from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and records from Area of Natural & Scientific Interest (ANSI), including COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada).” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Burnz — Developer “We will develop the appropriate sustainable management and restoration plans in coordination with the city and local citizens. This will begin with a survey of the local communities that will provide a list of concerns and suggestions for the sustainable forest ecosystem management of theses woodlots.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- YOU — Biology Intern “What evidence do the stakeholders have to support their biodiversity claims for each of the three woodlots? Can I determine which information is more reliable?” More Key Concepts and Terms Unit 6 To start, read the chapters in Woodlot Biodiversity entitled "Woodlot Biodiversity" and "Exploring woodlot diversity” (Pages 9-22). Then familiarize yourself with the terms and concepts described below. Abiotic variables: Abiotic factors are non-living. They include the physical and chemical factors that affect the ability of organisms to survive and reproduce; some examples of abiotic factors are light, temperature (heat), chemical products, water and atmosphere. In lecture we give examples of how these factors might influence the range of a species. For example, light is very important in limiting the growth of seedlings in a woodlot. This is mainly because some plants are shade tolerant and others require full sun. If you ever plant a tree, make sure you understand the light requirements for that species of tree. If you plant a shade tolerant tree in full sun it will probably soon desiccate if not watered profusely; conversely some trees require full sun and will not grow or may die in the shade. Why is light an important factor in forest ecosystems? Light constitutes the main supply of energy for organisms. Plants use chlorophyll to convert light energy into chemical energy via the process known as photosynthesis. This chemical energy is stored in complex organic substances that are used for growth, development of flowers and the production of fruit/seeds. Large amounts of biomass are stored in the forests using energy harnessed from the sun. Many plants have adapted to high or low light conditions; shade tolerant plants can dominate the understory of dense forest canopies. Light also regulates many biological rhythms of a large amount of species of both plants and animals. Plants use a photoreceptor protein (e.g., phytochrome or cryptochrome) to sense seasonal changes in photoperiod. This signals anthesis, whihc is the development of flowers. Animals use light in various ways. For example, insects use ultraviolet light to differentiate flowers from another when harvesting nectar or pollen; this interaction contributes to pollination in plants, which is the subject of many co-evolutionary studies. Birds partially orient themselves by means of the perception of small differences in the reflection of light UV by the objects on land such as different types for forests, water, rocks, etc. Niche: One way to think about the occurrence of species is in “geographical space” - the species’ distribution as plotted on a map. However, it is important to also think about species occurring in “environmental space”; the space that an organism occupies, which is confined by environmental variables to which the species responds. The concept of environmental space is referred to in the literature as ecological niche theory. Hutchinson (1957) provides a basic definition for ecological niche as follows: “niche is the set of biotic and abiotic conditions in which a species is able to persist and maintain stable population sizes.” The ecological niche is sub-divided into the fundamental and the realized niche. The fundamental niche is defined by the environmental conditions in which a species can survive and persist; however the species may not be present within all of this space. The realized niche includes the environmental and ecological conditions under which a species actually exists and persists. The figure below defines fundamental and the realized niche within two gradients (moisture & Temperature). Habitat: A species' habitat is defined as the environment in which a species is known to occur. Habitats can be considered "environmental space" as we defined above, whihc is influenced by biotic and/or abiotic environmental variables. It can include any characteristic of the environment (e.g., a substrate such as a rock, or food quality) or use of a specific geographic area (e.g., mountain meadow) by an animal or plant. Habitats can be either large or small scales. For example, the habitat of woodland caribou is boreal forest biome, whereas a species of lichen may only occur on acidic rocks. Understanding habitat diversity within an ecosystem is essential to sampling biodiversity because if you miss key types of habitats you may not have sampled all the biodiversity within an ecosystem. Higher habitat diversit
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