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Chapter 3

Chapter 3.docx

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Environmental Studies
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Sonia Wesche

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Chapter 3 Evolution Biodiversity and Population EcologyThe Process of Natural SelectionBecause organisms produce excess young individuals vary in their traits and many traits are inherited some individuals will prove better at surviving and reproducing Their genes will come more prominent in future generations Mutations and recombination provide the genetic variation for natural selection We have produced our pets farm animals and crop plants through natural selection How evolution results in biodiversityNatural selection can act as a diversifying force as organisms adapt to their environment in myriad waysSpeciation by geographic isolation and other means produces new speciesOnce they have diverged lineages continue diverging a process represented in a phylogenetic tree Species Extinction and Mass ExtinctionExtinction often occur when species that are highly specialized or that have small populations encounter rapid environmental changeEarths life has experienced five known episodes of mass extinction because of an asteroid impact and possible volcanism and other factorsLevels of Ecological OrganizationEcologists study phenomena on the organismal population community and ecosystem levelsand increasingly on the biosphere levelCharacteristics that help predict population growthPopulations are characterized by population size population density population distribution sex ratio age structure and birth and death rates Immigration and emigration as well as birth and death rates determine how a population will grow or decline Logistic Growth Carrying Capac
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