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Biological Sciences
Ivana Stehlik

Lecture 1 Biology of Animal Behavior 1 4/7/2013 3:55:00 PM Dr. Connie Soros Instinctive and Learned Behaviors  Most behaviors have both instinctive and learned components:  Instinctive behaviors: o Genetically programmed response o Complete and functional on first use o Fixed action patterns-same response over and over again  Often functional-feeding, defense, mating, parental care.  Repeatable in response to sign stimuli(smiling human babies, Herring Gull chicks).  Baby smiles because of human eyes.  Herring gull chicks see red spot on beak(stimuli) and begs for food(response).  Parasitic species releasers. The cuckoo is the parasite where the sparrow is the parent. The cuckoo are releasers(exaggerated stimuli) that pretend to be the sparrow’s chick.  Can modified by experiences (snakes). Food preferences. Coastal snake eat banana slug. Central snake do not eat banana slug even though they were the same species. When the coastal  Genetic basis(snakes). Single gene to not affect. Allelle affect the enzyme which cause behavior differences.  Learned behavior o Dependent upon particular experience during development o Adaptive behavior-personal social change in negative behavior. Starling birds add carrot plant into nest. Why? It is because by adding carrot plants into nest, they are able to reduce mites into nest. o Song birds learn their songs. (experiment by Peter marlow) o The process of experiences changing behavior: o Imprinting  Learn key features of stimulus during critical period  Often used for parental recognition  Geese (anser anser) and people  Lorenze (human) spent time with geese. And normally, when geese imprint on mother, they try to mate with geese like mother. When geese imprinted on human, they try to mate with human because similar to mother human. o Classical conditioning  Mental association between unrelated phenomena  Pavlov’s dog.  Conditioned stimulus(bell), unconditional stimulus (food) o Operant conditioning  Link voluntary operant with favorable reinforcement  Trial-and-error  Will press button for food(mouse). Press a lever and there will be food  How Sheldon gave a cookie to penny everytime she got an answer right. o Insight learning  Uses problem solving/reason  Much of the scientific knowledge concerning insight derives form work on animal behavior conducted on chimpanzees by psychologist wolfgang kohler.  Hung bananas out of reach, where chimps stacked up the boxes and used a stick to knock the banana.(problem solving skills) o Habituation.  Lack of response to unimportant stimuli  Saves energy  Decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated presentations.  Example: sea hares (Aplasia sp.) new ring tone, movement of a toy. When danger comes, they retract gills. When they touch grass, current, touched repeatedly, they won’t retract gills that many time.  When you always hear a new ring tone, you get annoyed, but then you don’t hear it anymore.  When you wear a new long sleeves, you don’t notice throughout the day.  If you took a toy and a baby together. If you move the toy, the baby will concentrate on the toy because they think it’s a new toy. If you move the baby, the baby won’t concentrate on the toy (don’t habituate).  Rodent wouldn’t want to use it’s flight/fight response every time a bird came over. (hawk vs robin).  Habituation: ignore all the small birds coming by-not danger. And run when big birds-danger comes by. Neurophysiology and Behavior  Research in neuroscience has shown that behavioral responses, whether mostly instinctive or mostly learned, depend on an elaborate physiological foundation provided by biochemistry and structure of nerve cells.  Although the anatomical and physiological basis for some behaviors is present at birth, an individual’s experiences alter the cells of its nervous system in ways that produce particular patterns of behaviors.  Clusters of nerve cells called nuclei cause singing behavior in birds o (male produce beautiful songs)  Behavioral gene expression is due to stimuli. Song nuclei in birds prepare neural development. o Example: when zebra finches hear song cues of neighbors, they habituate and ignore them. When zebra finches hear a different song cue, they fight the invader. o Birds use zank enzyme to use audio to identify invader. Hormones and Behavior  Hormones are chemical signals that can trigger the performance of specific behaviors by regulating neurons and stimulating endocrine organ cells to release chemical signals.  Hormones control neural development such as higher vocal center is less developed unless estrogen are applied. o So estrogen cause higher vocal voice. In male birds there are enough estrogen. There is not enough estrogen in females birds.  Genes code for hormone production o Hormones change gene activity in target cell o Gene activity change neuron change behavior o Example: changes in concentration of juvenile hormone over time, changes task specialization in honeybees. As bee age, they produce more juvenile hormone, this cause more tasks of the bee such as leaving the hive. So increase age, increase juvenile hormone increase leaving hive increase work. o Sexual development/behavior hormonally controlled.  Different gonadotropin hormone. Increase gonadotropin hormone, increase aggressive male fish. Lecture 2 Biology of Animal Behavior 2 4/7/2013 3:55:00 PM Neural Anatomy and Behavior  Some specific behaviors are produced by anatomical structures in an animal’s nervous system  Information acquired by the senses can be relayed directly to motor neurons (right to muscles).  Eg. Providing prey animals with behavior that can save them from attack by predators Hard-Wired connections  Example: touching a hot stove. You automatically move away.  Some environmental stimuli cause direct responses in motor neurons o Cricket and bat interaction  When cricket hear bat sound waves, it lifts its hind leg to run away. They have ears on the front leg.  Different stimuli cause different responses o Fiddler crab elevated eyes.  When the crab see predator above, it activates neuron, escape response, dash into burrow. When the crab see things on eye level, there is a different response.  How the experiment done was: a black square above the crab (cause a escape behavior. A black square below (no response).  Brain anatomy structure is tied to its functional response to stimuli o Star-nosed mole. It has 22 fleshy tentacles covered in tactile(touch) receptors called Eimer’s organ. It is used to find food without sight, and locate earthworms with nose. o Brain anatomy structure is tied to its functional response to stimuli. The brain contains most cerebral cells devoted to tentacles and front digging feet. Communication  One individual produce signal, another receives it.  Types of signals:  1.Acoustical o Bird songs. Insects and rattle snakes. Pacific herring communicate with little bursts of gase through the anus. o Stridulation: rub body together to make songs.  2.Visual o stiped skunk, human facial expression, royal flycatcher, bioluminescent lure of angler fish, semaphore flags L, peacock  3.Chemical (pheromones) o ant contains glands that release different pheromone to initiate tasks such as discovering colony or invaders.  4.Tactille o short distances. Friendly bonding between individuals. Example is macaws removing dirt from feathers for each other.  5.Electrical o Electric eel has electric organs that release charges of intensity and used for signal threats, rediness to breed, submission.  Combinations of types Honeybees: Tactile, acoustical, chemical, visual components. Round dance of honeybees-found food source and make acoustical signals. Waggle dance, when food is far from the hive.  If the bee dances up the comb, then the food source is towards the sun. If the bee dances down the comb, then the food source is away from the sun. If the bee dances 45’, then the source is 45’ from the sun.  Sometimes the animal itself is the signal. o Male baboons display dominance. (Mandrillus sphinx). o The skunk itself too Language is communication, but not all communication is language. Language : Syntax and Symbols.  Dances of honeybees are both syntax(order in which information is presented) and symbols(display that represents something else).  Vervet monkeys have signals to alert others of predators. One signal for snake, another for leopard.  Chickadees use different alarm calls  Chimpanzees and gorillas are able to use American sign language. Migration  Travel from birth area to distant area and back  Usually seasonal schedule  Example: Artic tern 40000 km (longest animal migration).  Migration navigations:  1.Piloting uses landmarks. Simplest migration. Instinctive trait. o grey whales use visual cues along the pacific coastline o Pacific salmon use olfactory cues to pilot their way from the ocean back to the stream where they hatch to breed.  2.Compass orientation use to move a particular distance/time o day-flying migratory birds use Sun position and internal biological clock. o Insects use Earth’s magnetic field. o Indigo Bunting bird uses star as a compass  3.Navigation use compass and mental map Lecture 3 Population Ecology 1 4/7/2013 3:55:00 PM The science of ecology  Study of interactions between organisms and their environments  Basic ecology o Focuses on undisturbed natural systems (distribution and abundance of species and how they interact with each other and the physical environment)  Applied ecology o Considers the effect of human disturbance (development of conservation plans to stop and repair ecological damage cause by humans.) Levels of Organization.(smallest to largest)  1. Organismal ecology- genetic, biochemical, physiological, morphological and behavioral adaptations to the environment)  2.Population ecology-groups of individuals of the same species that live together.  3. Community ecology-populations of different species that occur together in one area  4.Ecosystem ecology-how nutrients cycle and energy flows between the biotic and abiotic community  5. Biosphere-globally. Earth’s crust,water. Seven characteristics of populations 1.Geographic Range is determined by the boundaries of Distribution(individuals in the population often live in a specific habitat within the range).  Geographic range: Overall spatial boundaries within which a population lives  Habitat: specific environment in which a population lives, as characterized by its biotic and abiotic features  Example, a population of snails may inhabit a small tide pool while a population of marine plankton may occupy an larger area. (different geographic range, same habitat). 2. Population Density is based on the numbers of individuals per unit area (Species with large body size have lower population density) (body size  population density).  In terms of population density in largest density to lowest density: aquatic invertebrates>terrestrial invertebrates>mammals>birds>vertebrate ectotherms  body size population density resources to food, water, sunlight 3. Population Dispersion is the Distribution of Individuals in Space  Clumped dispersion is common and occurs in 3 situations  1. When suitable conditions are patchily distributed (example, cowpats)  2.When social populations live together to cooperate in rearing offspring, feeding or defending themselves from predators(example, fish in social groups)  3. When species reproduce by asexual clones (example, aspen trees and sea anemones).  Uniform distribution can occur when individuals repel one another or territorial behavior o Example: creosote bushes take in water and secret toxic chemical to make it impossible for seedlings to grow. Allelopathy-the chemical toxic to prevent seedlings to grow found in uniform dispersion.  Walnut treets/ creosote.  Territorial behavior (birds not allowing others living)  Random distribution tend to be rare in nature, but occurs when environmental conditions do not vary much within a habitat and individuals are neither attracted or repelled by others. o Example: spiders, clams, rainforest trees. 4. Age structure is the numbers of individuals of different ages (A statistical description of the relative numbers of individuals in different age classes)  Prereproductive (younger than age of sexual maturity  Reproductive  Postreproductive (older than the maximum age of reproduction)  Population’s age structure reflect its recent growth and predict future growth. 5. Generation time is the average time between birth and death. body sizetime among bacteria, protist, plants, animals. 6. Sex ratio: females: males  In general, number of females has a greater impact than males. The presence of male have little effect on size of future generations because only females can reproduce. 7. Proportion of individuals that are reproducing (This issue is particularly relevant to conservation of any species in which individuals are rare or widely dispersed in the habitat)  example: plants.  Asexual Demography  Statistical study of processes that change a population’s size and density through time  Population growth factors: birth and immigration  Population decline factors: death and emigration  Ecologists use demographic analysis to predict population’s growth. (example, for humans to predict for social services; for animals to predict for protecting endangered species) Life Tables  Summarize demographics of population  Age –specific mortality (proportions of individuals alive and when they die). I am alive from 1-18. o Number of dying/number alive  Age-specific survivorship(proportions of individuals alive and when they survived). I have survived from 1-20 o Mortality and survivorship are opposites. The number difference is 1. o 1-number of dying /number alive  Age-specific fecundity(the average number of offspring produced by surviving females during age interval). I have survived from 1-14 and had 1 kid.  Cohort- group of individuals of same age.  Life table will monitor survival of a cohort from birth until all members die.  It shows the number of individuals in each age group. Survivorship curves  Survivorship curves graphically depict the rate of survival for individuals over the species’ average lifespan(timing of death of individuals in a population).  1. Type 1 survivorship curve. o High survivorship until late in life o example: lamb o mammals, humans. o Parental care in early life o o o o o o o o  2. Type 2 survivorship curve o constant rate of mortality in all age classes o example: lizard, small mammals, songbirds. o Vulnerable to starvation, predation, disease. o o o o  3. Type 3 Survivorship curve o high juvenile mortality, followed by low mortality after critical age and size. o Example: tree and shrubs o fish insects o produce small but many offspring o no parental care. o Constant. o Logarithmic scale. Lecture 4 Population Ecology 2 (intraspecific) 4/7/2013 3:55:00 PM Evolution of Life history  Analysis of life tables and survival curves reveal how natural selection affects an organism’s Life history.  Life history include patterns of o Growth o Maintenance (preservation of good health) o Reproduction  Allocation of resources (finite energy budget-total amount of energy the organism can accumulate and use to fuel its activities) influences evolution of these traits.  Usually adjusted to maximize an individual’s number of surviving offspring. Life History Patterns  Coho salmons(Oncorhynchus kisutch) hatch in stream head waters. They feed and grow for a year before adulthood and swim to the ocean. They remain in ocean for 1-2 years and return to the stream. They use sun compass (pilot), geomagnetic, chemical cues to return. Males prepare nest and female lay 100-1000 eggs. After breeding adults dies and no parental care for offspring. o Type 3 curve. High mortality then low mortality rate.  European red deer (Cervus elaphus) born in spring, young remain with mother for prenatal care. Female deer begin to breed after adulthood in the 3 rdyear and produce 1-2 offspring per year until th the 16 year-the maximum lifespan and die. o Type 1 curve.  Oak trees (Quercus sp.) begin as acorns in summer, remain inactive until spring. After germinating, the seedling tree grow until they reach a critical size where they produce 1000 acorns for many years. Growth and reproduction occur simultaneously throughout most tree’s life. There is no parental care. o Type 3 curve. Fecundity VS Parental Care  Trade-off between fecundity and parental care.  Passive Parental care before offspring born-yolk,endosperm, nutrient across placenta o 1000 eggs total (ducks)  Active Parental care after offspring born o Many young-little care o few young-more care. How often to breed?  One reproductive episode o Devotes all stored energy o Maximum fecundity(ability to give birth)  Multiple reproductive episodes o Only some energy devoted o Reproductive and growth=tree o Reproductive and maintanence-mammals Age at first reproduction  Early reproduction is favoured: o If adult survival rate is low  Good chance of leaving some surviving offspring behind o If animals do not grow larger with age  No need to spend energy to grow o If larger size does not increase fecundity  Larger does not mean more fertile  Later reproduction is favoured: o If mature adults survive older age o If organism grow larger with age o If larger organism have higher fecundity. Models of Population growth  Exponential models: when population has unlimited growth o In bacterial growth, bacteria reproduce by binary fission. Population double in size each generation. o Exponential model occurs in bacteria and prokaryotes o o o o o o o o Exponential Growth model: in animals and plants where birth increase population, death decrease population. Limited population growth o ΔN/Δt=B-D o ΔN=change in population size o Δt=time period o B=birth o D=death o o o Exponential Growth model 2:unlimited population growth. o dN/dt=rN o By expressing per capita birth and death rate. o R=per capita growth rate. o Zero population growth ZPG: B=D.  when birth rate=death rate.  R is high for animals with short generation (sheep) R is low for animals with long generation (human) R is normally 0.4  Logistic model: when population has limited growth o This is because of finite resource. There is a carrying capacity-maximum number of individuals an environment can support. o Includes effects of resource limitations (intraspecific competition) o Carrying capacity(K): maximum population size that environment can sustain. o dN/dt=rmax N(K-N/K)  R when N approaches K. o Logistic model assumes that R N linearly. o Logistic model also assumes that N at first but slows when approaching K. (S shaped) Limiting Resources and the Logistic Model  The logistic model assumes that vital resources become increasingly limited as population grows.  Intraspecific competition (within species)  For mobile animals the limiting resources could be food,water,nesting site, refuge from predators.  For immobile animals the limiting resource would be space  For plans, limiting factors are sunlight, water, inorganic nutrient, space. Density-Dependent Factors  population density, growth rateadult sizesurvivorship.fecundity  when resources are in short supply, each individual has less energy for reproduction. Therefore females in crowded population produce fewer offspring or offsprings that are less likely to survive. Human population growth  3 ways humans have avoided the effects of density dependent regulating factors  1. Humans have expanded geographic range, reducing competition for space.  2. Increase K in habitats by hunting, gather, agriculture.  3. Advances in public health, medicine, sewage treatment, food handing process.  It has caused us into an exponential curve where B=D  Density independent:B and D do not change Density dependent: B and D increase . Lecture 5 Population Interactions (interspecific-community) 4/7/2013 3:55:00 PM Population interactions  Interactions of species (interspecific) form the basis of biotic communities. They often involve strategies that are: o Antagonistic: finding food, avoiding being eaten o Mutualistic: pollination of flowers  Competition of resources may occur within and between species. o Benefit, harm, neutral.  1. Predation+/- predator gain, prey killed  2.Herbivory +/- herbivore gain, plants killed  3. Competition -/- both population lose resource. (inter/intraspecific)  4.Commensalism +/0 one benefit, other unaffected (elephant stepping on grass. Elephant unaffected. Grass prey exposed to predators)  5.Mutualism +/+ both benefit (bee and flower)  6.Parasitism +/- parasite gain, host killed (cuckoo parasite and hedge sparrow host) Coevolutionary relationships  Genetically based reciprocal adaptation in two or more interacting species.  Individuals in one species become better adapted when another species exerts pressure on that species. This puts pressure. o Example: cheetah and antelope. Faster cheetah get prey. o Example: bumblebee and flower Obtaining food.  Predation: interaction between predatory animals and the animal they consume o Carnivores use sensory systems to locate, capture, consume prey.  Example: Rattlesnake has heat sensor on pits of their face to detect warm blooded prey. They inject venom (neurotoxin and protease). Once the venom takes effect, the snake use chemical sensors to follow the scent trail of dying prey.  Example: Vampire bat use noseleaf to find prey. It has anticlotting chemical in saliva.  Herbivory: interaction between herbivorous animals and the plants they eat. o Use sensory systems to identify food or avoid toxic food. o Have different teeth system to grind food. Adaptations for feeding.  Optimal foraging theory (diet) o Mathematical models that predict an animal’s diet o Diet is compromise between cost and benefits associated with different types food. o Ratio of costs of obtaining the food (time and energy it take to pursue, capture, consume)VS benefits of consuming (energy in food). Affects of Prey density.  When bluegill sunfishes were offered equal number of sized prey (Daphnia) they always chose the largest prey because large prey easily found in high density. o density of L, M, S prey. Fish choose L prey o density of L, M, S prey. Fish chose L, M, S prey. (equal)  if it can choose based on large density, it will choose the prey with largest energy (largest Size prey) Defense  Man O War (physalia physalis) jellyfish has stinging cells called nematocysts and toxic protein and 7 injurious enzymes. (toxic to muscle,brain, mitochondria,neural.  Defence Strategies: o 1. Size  too small/big to be seen as food (elephant) o 2. Vigilance  sharp lookout for predators and live in groups. (meekarts)(suricatta suricatta) o 3. Freeze and Camouflage  zebra stripes, stick insects, caterpillars that look like bird droppings. o 4. Evasive action  run away or take refuge. (tortoise retreat into rocks).  If cornered by predators, they may try to attack or startle predators. (not a good defense because they get close with predators) o 5. Spines and Armors  cowhorn euphorb, thorns, spiny ant eater, porcupine, shells. o 6. Chemical  Smelling/tasting bad, toxin, vomit at attackers, spray chemicals. Become poisonous(monarch butterflies eat a poisonous plant which makes them poisonous themselves) o 7. Warnings  Aposematic-poisonous or repellant species may advertise their unpalability. (a red colored frog=poison!) o 8. Mimicry  Batesian mimicry-when drone fly(Eristalis tenax) mimic the stining honeybee (apic mellifera)  Mullerian mimicry-when butterfly(heliconius errata) look like butterfly (Heliconius melpomene). Defence Strategies: no perfect defence  Predators may evolve adaptations to counter prey defences  Example: a beetle spray chemical from hind end. An experience mice may turn the beetle upside down and eat the head first, avoiding the hind end. (smart!) 7+2=9 :D it’s a mouse! Lecture 6 Community Ecology Interspecific 4/7/2013 3:55:00 PM Interspecific Competition  Competition between species  Can experience: increased mortality, decreased reproduction, reduction in the size and growth rate of populations.  Two or more populations using same limiting resources  Interference competition (direct) o One species harms another species directly (lion chasing prey; creosote bushes releasing chemicals to soil preventing growth-allopathic)  Exploitative competition (indirect)-first come first serve. o Two or more population using same limiting resources o One species reduces resource availability to others (one species eat seeds, depleting food supply available for other species to eat seed) (squirrel vs squirrel on who can get seed fastest)  Example: Balanus and Chthamalus. The balanus(bottom) has the realized niche while the Chthamus has been limited and in fundamental niche(top).  Example: Eastern White Cedar trees found at cliffs edge because of competition.  Keystone species are species that have greater effect on community structure than their numbers suggest (eg. Predatory sea stars). Top carnivore that controls organism beneath it. Keystone-very few species. o When remove sea stars keystone species, decrease in invertebrate/algae because mussels outcompeted the invertebrates. (Mussel increased and ate all the food of invertebrates). Competitive Exclusion Principle (one has a advantage)  Competitive exclusion occurs when two species that require identical resources occur in the same habitat  One species out competes the other that drives it to extinction because it harvests resource more efficiently and produce more offspring. (paramecium Aurelia wins paramecisum caudatum.) Ecological Niche  Concept to visualize population’s resource use  Fundamental niche-range of conditions a species could use  Realized niche-range of conditions it actually uses in nature. Resource Partitioning-sympatric.  Occurs when several sympatric(living in the same place) species use different resources or the same resources in different ways.  Plant 1 has roots 2m(foxtail). plant 2 has roots 6m (mallow). plant 3 has roots 10m(smartweed). This allows the plants to live symptrically.  Allopatric species live in different places. Interactive vs Individualistic hypotheses of species Distribution  Interactive hypothesis predicts that species have similar distribution with environment. Each line is a species. They have reduced abundance at the same spot. Similar niche, and competing against each other.  Individualistic hypothesis predicts that species do not have similar distribution with environment. o Most gradient supports individualistic. Reason how they are able to survive together. They carved out their own realized niche to be able to survive together. Ecotones  The borders between communities.  Different soil type, moisture levels.  Adjacent communities often grade into each other or sharp boundaries occur between communities when a critical resource or important abiotic factor is discontinuous. The borders that separates plant 1,2,3,4 are ecotones. Community characteristics  Example: Tropical forest warm moist environment supports complex vegetation with vertical layers and have high structural complexity. o Canopy>understory>Herb layer (different trees) o Epiphyte>Liana>Buttress. (different tree structure)  Example: mountainside cold winds and rocks Measuring Species Diversity(how many different type of tree) and Evenness(how many). (Shannon researcher)  The value of H’ and Eh provide an indication of the diversity of forests and evenness.  H’ means few species (diversity) (1A tree 4B tree)  EH means uneven distribution. (evenness) (1A tree 1 B tree)  H’EH means many species and evenly distributed. (1.0 EH is high). Trophic structure  Primary producers(autotrophs) o Capture sunlight and convert it to chemical energy, photosynthesis  Consumer (heterotrophs) o Primary consumers are herbivores o Secondary/tertiary consumers are carnivores/omnivores.  Detritivores (animals) o Scavengers(fungi, bacteria, earthworm, vultures) ingest dead organisms. o Decomposers are TYPE OF DETRITIVORE(bacteria and fungi)  Feed on dead organic matter. o Both detritivore and decomposer reduce organic material into small inorganic molecules that producers can absorb. Food chains and webs (One cycle)  Ecologist use food chains/web to illustrate the trophic structure of a community.  Generally, communities that support complex food webs are more stable because disappearance of 1 species do not have major impact on food web.  Food cycle MUST INCLUCDE DETRITIVORES, to break down the nitrogen. (food web + detritivore=food cycle). Ecological Succession  Somewhat predictable change in species composition over time  Primary succession begins on habitats without soil. o Glaciation and permafrost o Volcanic areas o Dirt, rock (10 years after glaciation) o First thing that comes in are LICHENS and MOSS (half plant)  They have symbiosis with nitrogen fixing bacteria. Mutualistic.  Secondary succ
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