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Very Thorough Ecology Exam Study Notes

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Western University
Biology 2483A

Ecology Study Notes EcologyEcological Maxims o 1 Organisms interact and are interconnected o 2 Everything goes somewhere o 3 No population can increase in size forever o 4 Finite energy and resources result in tradeoffs o 5 Organisms evolve o 6 Communities and ecosystems change over time o 7 Spatial scale mattersBiosphereecosystemcommunitypopulationorganismNet Primary Productivity NPPenergy captured by produces minus the amount lost as heat in cellular respirationSome declines in amphibian populations may be due to o Pesticides causing less white blood cells to fight parasites o Fertilizer runoff increase algal growth more food for snails more parasites o Climate change favouring growth and transmission of disease organismsie chytrid fungus that causes a lethal skin disease o pollution o UV exposure o habitat loss The Physical EnvironmentClimate is characterized by average conditions but extreme conditions are also important because they can contribute to mortalityWithout greenhouse gases water vapour carbon dioxide methane nitrous oxide earths climate would be about 33 degrees coolerWarm air rising because it is less dense than cool air is called upliftAir pressure decreases with altitude so the rising air expands and coolsThree major climatic zones in each hemisphere o Tropical o Temperate o PolarAreas of high and low pressure created by the circulation cells result in air movements called prevailing winds o Winds appear to be deflected due to the rotation of the Earththe Coriolis effectSemipermanent high and low pressure cells o Summerair over oceans is cooler high pressure develops o Winterair over continents is cooler high pressure developsDownwellingwarm surface currents reach polar area water freezes becomes more saline and dense and sinksUpwellingprevailing winds blow parallel to a coastline surface water flows away and deeper colder ocean water rises to replace it influence coastal climateMost productive areas in the open ocean is the photic zone where upwellings bring nutrients from the deep sediments to the area where light can penetrate and phytoplankton can growMaritime climate coastal areas little daily and seasonal variation in temperatures high humidityContinental climatesmuch greater variation in daily and seasonal temperaturesAlbedocapacity of a land surface to reflect solar radiationinfluenced by vegetation type soils and topography configuration of the earths surfaceITCZintertropical convergence zone the northeast and southeast trade winds converge around the equator and air rises forming a low pressure zone where there is lots of precipitationTemperate zone lakeso Epilimnionwarm water o Hypolimnioncolder water o Thermoclinetransition zoneMilankovitch cyclesregular changes in the shape of the earths orbit and the tilt of its axis The BiosphereBiomes are large scale biological communities shaped by the physical environmentSclerophyllous shrubsseasonally drymoist and warmcoolDeciduous treesmoist seasonally warmcool or coolcold on fertile soils or warm seasonally wetdryCacti and shrubs succulent stems or leavesdry seasonally hotcoolThere are 9 major terrestrial biomes o Tropical rainforestsHigh annual temperature high precipitationHigh biomass high diversityabout 50 of earths speciesAbout half of biome has been altered o Tropical seasonal forests and savannahsHigh annual temp high precipitation from OctoberMay with period of water stress lower precip than temp on chart from june to augustSavannahs are more grass dominatedWet and dry seasons associated with movement of the ITCZFire promotes establishment of savannahsLess than half remainHuman pop growth has a major influence o Hot DesertsHigh temperatures low precipSparse vegetation and animal population
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