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Inquiry Case #3 Notes.pdf

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University of Guelph
BIOL 1070
T.Ryan Gregory

Unit #8 Notes - Carbon dioxide in the air influences the overall mean temperature of the planet; increased levels contribute to the warming temperature of the Earth - The Arctic is of special concern as it is warming at a much higher rate than most parts of the world - Expert opinions: - Sheila Watt-Cloutier (lawyer and Canadian Inuit activist) - Rapid human induced climate change - Poisoning in food sources in the Arctic, due to toxins from elsewhere - Contaminated drinking water, erosion, melting permafrost, unpredictable sea ice conditions, melting glaciers leads to torrent rivers instead of streams - Will need to relocate their communities - Marine species that rely on the sea ice, such as polar bears, will decline, some facing extinction - Warming is likely to disrupt or destroy hunting culture of Inuit people - Dr. Martyn Obbard (bear biologist) - 19 subpopulations of polar bears; only one across the world is thought to be increasing, 3 stable, 8 declining, and 7 are data deficient - Those declining are due to amount of sea ice, which is essential for their survival and reproduction - Arctic Ecosystems - Sub-arctic regions of Canada contain a wide variety of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems - In the high Arctic much of the terrestrial environment is dominated by tundra - Arctic Organisms - Aquatic animals such as whales, polar bears, and certain fish - Endotherms: animals that generate their own internal heat through metabolism; “warm-blooded” vertebrates (mammals and birds); maintain around 37 degrees - Ectotherms: animals such as fish that rely on environmental sources of heat - Impacts at Different Levels of Organization - Populations: climate change may affect survival, growth and reproduction - Communities: climate change may cause changes in species distribution or frequency within that community - Ecosystems: climate change may have many complex effects that influence nutrient cycling between the abiotic and biotic factors - Molecule: temperature impacts motions and kinetic energy - Macromolecules: e.g. enzymes can denature with increased temperature - Cell: temperature changes may cause cells to undergo a stress response - Organ systems: e.g. temperature can impact the cardiovascular system - Homeostasis: the maintenance of a constant internal environment - Other key points: - The North Pole may become warmer by 8 degrees by 2100 - Plants in the Arctic face challenging conditions and tend to be slow growing and hardy Unit #9 Notes - Arctic plants and animals must be able to carry out critical metabolic processes, exchange materials with their environment and maintain physiological parameters within a limited range - Substances Arctic organisms exchange with the external environment: - Gases: most animals require oxygen for metabolism and release carbon dioxide as the respiratory waste product - Nutrients: animals utilize many different types of food, obtaining carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in their diets - Wastes: fluid and solid wastes from digestion and metabolism are released; organisms must also balance the ion composition of their internal fluids - Interstitial fluid: the fluid surrounding cells - Complex animals must also have a circulatory fluid that carries gases, wastes and nutrients to the interstitial fluid - Respiratory and digestive systems have direct contact with the external environment - Homeostasis: the process in which, to varying degrees, animals maintain relatively constant internal conditions in the face of a fluctuating external environment - In endotherms (mammals and birds) this is seen with regulating body temperature within narrow range around a set point, as well as blood pH, ion concentration, and glucose - Neural and/or hormonal processes are involved in keeping internal variables relatively constant - Negative feedback: what fuels an organisms built-in regulatory systems - E.g. thermoreceptors send information to the hypothalamus in the brain if skin and body temperature has fluctuated above or below set point\ - Negative feedback results in lowering a variable t
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