Ecology Test 1

fundamental vs. realized niche
fundamental niche – the potential or possible niche (larger)

realized niche – the realistic or actual niche. determined by competition from other organisms for resources in fundamental niche (smaller)

fact: humans have ALWAYS had a (detrimental) effect on environment, not just recently
ie. Easter Island: used logs to roll volcanic rocks to periphery of island and build statues. but they deforested the island -> soil depletion -> overpopulation -> war -> cannibalism -> societal collapse
conservational biologists vs. theoretical ecologists
conservational – conserve animals however possible (interfere if necessary)
theoretical – conserve processes and let nature take it’s course, then animals will learn from their mistakes

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ie. dolphins get stuck in river. what do we do?

niche vs. habitat
niche – range of tolerable conditions
habitat – physical setting
niche = n-dimensional hypervolume
-G.E. Hutchinson
-niche is composed of many different dimensions
food size, foraging height, humidity, etc.
-no two species have the same niche (species specialize: marine or desert or etc organism?)
Global Patterns
temperature and precipitation!
-sun distributes heat differently across planet = different climates
-in a non-spinning earth, there are 2 cells of precipitation (one in north, one in south)
-in a spinning earth there are 3 cells per hemisphere (6 total) called hadley cells
Hadley Cells
0 – wet and hot -tropical rain forests
30 – dry and warm – deserts
60 – wet and cool – temperate rain forests
90 – dry and cold – frozen tundra
soil formation = F (C.P.O.S.T.)
C – climate (ie water and temperature)
P – parent material
O – living organisms involved
S – slope or terrain
T – time
Soil Profile
plant on top
O – organic layer (decomposed leaves)
A – humus layer
-plant roots, most abundant life, michelles
B – accumulation of minerals due to water “leaching” them down
C – transition layer
R – parent rock
-control nutrient availability
-michelles are surrounded by negative charges which attract nutrients (+ charged)
Nutrients – cation exchange capacity
cations exchange spots of michelles due to binding ability:

H+ (most tightly bound)
Na+ (most loosely bound)

soil texture
proportion of differently sized particles:
gravel – >2 mm
sand – 0.5-2 mm
silt – 0.02-0.5 mm
clay – <0.02 mm
soil structure
-how particles are arranged relative to each other (clumped together or even dispersed)
Water-holding capacity
-negative charges on soil (michelles) hold water
-clay holds much more water than gravel but gravel is better at draining water
-surface area : volume ratio increases with smaller particles causing an increase in water-holding capacity
field capacity
maximum amount of water that soil can hold against gravity
biomes: effect of mountains
-mtns affect temperature and precipitation
“altitude mimics latitude” (temperature effect)
mtn: desert (base), then oak, then alpine, then glacial (top)

air picks up moisture over ocean
->moves inland and cools, causing rain (in seattle)
->air goes over mountains (cascades)
-> moves even farther inland as dry air (spokane)

heat capacity
mount of energy it takes to change the temperature of 1g of a substance by 1 degree
-ie. water has a high heat capacity
biomes: effect of water
-coastal cities have more moderate temperatures because coastal cities have more water in the air to moderate the temperature
-dry places have more extreme temperatures and bigger differences between highs and lows
Coriolis Effect
-apparent deflection of a moving object in a rotating frame of reference
-ie. shooting rocket from equator to north
things in N hemisphere deflect to the right (clockwise)
in S hemisphere deflect to the left (counterclockwise)
-a large system of rotating wind currents in the oceans
-affects the water temperature
ie. west coast water is cold, east coast water is warm
-cold, treeless, dry, long winters and short summers
-ground is permanently frozen
Taiga/Boreal Forrest
-coniferous (evergreens) forest
-very cold winters, warm and humid summers
-rolling hills with either short grass or long grass depending on rainfall
Deciduous Forrest
-lots of trees and shrubs
-temperatures are not bad and decent rainfall
-very hot and dry
-the “wild west”
-lots of shrubs and cacti
-hot, sand, some are really cold in winter
-rolling grassland with trees
-always warm
-one long dry winter and one long wet summer
Tropical Rain Forrest
-a shit ton of rain
-always warm
-adaptations of species to live in their environment
ectotherm/endotherm factors
energy expenditure
body size limit
efficiency (enzymes)
water budget
W (food + drinking + absorption – secretion – evaporation)
kangaroo rat adaptations
-nocturnal, metabolic water instead of drinking water, lives in burrow
open – take in CO2, lose water
closed – keep water, don’t get CO2
C3 plants
keep stomata open longer
-RuBP has low affinity for CO2
-more water loss
-cooler environment
C4 plants
keep stomata closed longer
-PEP has high affinity for CO2
-less water loss
-arid environment
CAM plants
stomata open during night, closed during day
desert comparison (camel and cactus)
1. body size
2. insulation
3. water usage
4. temporal (stomates)
-semi enclosed body of water with a measurable salinity gradient
what contributes to estuary productivity?
freshwater input, sunlight (depth), and circulation (tides)
stenohaline vs. euryhaline
stenohaline – narrow tolerance (niche)
euryhaline – wide/broad tolerance (niche) so less competition