[BIO205H5] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (18 pages long!)

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Published on 5 Oct 2016
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BIO205H5
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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ECOLOGY Lec 2
What is Ecology:
A study
Based on some data
Definition: the scientific study of abundance and distribution of organisms in
relation to other organisms and environmental conditions (define in own words.
We can study ecology at different hierarchical levels
oBased on dynamics of groups
oTheir interactions
oIncludes a range of communities
Ecological systems are hierarchical
oNot just one level better
oBut we want to form a sort of question that asks which stage or group are
we focusing on
oThe more complex or higher up the hierarchy that we study, the more time
and resources we require.
We use the scientific method to study ecology
oThe key being that the hypothesis should be falsifiable
oFor eg: hypothesis: is the population of whales in the water decreasing
There are other models of scientific research:
One thing in common with research is that they all collect data, regardless of
whether we get data that supports hypothesis- its a circle- there is always a new
question
Sample study: Can earthworms remove substantial numbers of seeds from the forest
floor, compared to vertebrate seed predators?
Hypothesis- they do remove a lot of soil, so less available for plants to grow on,
so less greenery and more seeds removed
How do they test?
oRange of experiments- they had tubes that sunk into ground that did not
allow earthworms into the soil, then placed seeds into that air
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oThe other area was a control and was thus non-excluded areas- so looked
at seeds at the presence of earthworm populations
Results: data does support hypothesis - so earthworms did remove more seeds
Vertebrates still do remove more than earthworms- but they still do have an
impact
Next Lecture: How do adaptations evolve.
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Document Summary

Definition: the scientific study of abundance and distribution of organisms in relation to other organisms and environmental conditions (define in own words. We can study ecology at different hierarchical levels: based on dynamics of groups, their interactions, includes a range of communities. We use the scientific method to study ecology: the key being that the hypothesis should be falsifiable, for eg: hypothesis: is the population of whales in the water decreasing. One thing in common with research is that they all collect data, regardless of whether we get data that supports hypothesis- its a circle- there is always a new question. Hypothesis- they do remove a lot of soil, so less available for plants to grow on, so less greenery and more seeds removed. Results: data does support hypothesis - so earthworms did remove more seeds. Vertebrates still do remove more than earthworms- but they still do have an impact.

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