[BIO205H5] - Final Exam Guide - Ultimate 35 pages long Study Guide!

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BIO205H5
FINAL EXAM
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BIO205: Ecology
Lecture 2: September 12th, 2016
How do we define and study ecology?
Beluga whales case study- what was ecology about this example?
The loss of beluga population and impact on the environment
The overall food cycle would be impacted in terms of predator and prey
Abiotic factors
Definition of Ecology: the scientific study of the abundance and distribution of organisms in
relation to other organisms and environmental conditions
We can study ecology at different hierarchal levels
Embedded in communities- multiple populations- interaction among species
Ecosystems are made up of range of communities
Biosphere- global processes
Population- population dynamics, the unit of evolution
Individual- survival and reproduction – the unit of natural selection
Scale becomes bigger in terms of spatial and temporal
Scale has to be a consideration when choosing the hierarchal levels
oIt depends on the type of question and at what hierarchal level you are trying to
study
We use the scientific method to study ecology
1. Observations- can be at any hierarchal level
2. Hypothesis/prediction- what is the most important aspect of hypothesis?
a. Have to be testable
b. Should be able to carry out an experiment
c. Should be falsifiable
d. Some way of gathering data (measurable)
e. Should be able to make predictions whether the hypothesis is wrong or right
3. Test the hypothesis
4. Two possible outcomes – data that comes back should support the hypothesis or it
should not support the hypothesis
a. If it doesn’t support the hypothesis- can not prove the hypothesis
b. Should always prove the hypothesis
c. Gather data that supports or does not support the hypothesis
Example: beluga whale decline
Hypothesis: Is the population decreasing and are human activities the possible reason for that?
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Main differences between the 2 models
The second one is better: links everything together, it is more complex and more realistic
There are influences right at the first set of the more complex model
What do the models have in common?
Collect data to test the hypothesis- crucial aspect of science
Hypothesis- gives a chance to collect data
Never ending – always leads back to more questions
Example: are earthworms good or bad?
Earthworms are ecological components of the environment
Not from north America- invasive species- seed predators of temperate forest plant
How much of an impact do they have on our areas?
oRemove substantial amount of seas from the soil- fewer plants grow out
oPrediction; in areas where there are woods there would be less seeds
Is there any trend on the data collected?
All of the white bars are shorter than the grey bars- exposures with earthworms
excluded with more seeds in them than those who were not excluded
Does the data support it?
oYes, it does- those areas without earthworms had more seeds in them
oHave an impact on the kind of forest we see today- shaping the environment
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Document Summary

The loss of beluga population and impact on the environment. The overall food cycle would be impacted in terms of predator and prey. Definition of ecology: the scientific study of the abundance and distribution of organisms in relation to other organisms and environmental conditions. We can study ecology at different hierarchal levels. Embedded in communities- multiple populations- interaction among species. Ecosystems are made up of range of communities. Individual- survival and reproduction the unit of natural selection. Scale becomes bigger in terms of spatial and temporal. Scale has to be a consideration when choosing the hierarchal levels: it depends on the type of question and at what hierarchal level you are trying to study. If it doesn"t support the hypothesis- can not prove the hypothesis a: should always prove the hypothesis, gather data that supports or does not support the hypothesis. The second one is better: links everything together, it is more complex and more realistic.

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