BIOL 1020 – ECOLOGY UNIT LECTURE NOTES
Ecology
I.
What is ecology?
A. Ecology is the scientific study of interactions between ___________
1. term ecology comes from the Greek oikos, _______, and logos, to study
B. biotic and abiotic factors
1. What are biotic factors? Give examples.
2. What are abiotic factors? Give examples.
C. climate
1. What is climate?
2. What abiotic factors are the major components of climate?
3. What effects do bodies of water have on climate?
4. What effects do mountains have on climate?

Include descriptions of how elevation affects temperature, and of rain shadows.
5. What effects do seasons have on climate?

Describe what causes seasons; include the terms solstice and equinox in your description.
D. biomes
1. What are biomes?
2. aquatic biomes

List the major aquatic biomes and their defining physical features (there are 8, giving you space here).
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BIOL 1020 – ECOLOGY UNIT LECTURE NOTES
define the following: photic zone, aphotic zone, benthic zone

Describe the process of turnover in a lake, and why it is important.

What is eutrophication, and what are some likely consequences of it?
3. terrestrial biomes

List the major terrestrial biomes and their characteristic vegetation types and climate (there are 8).

define the following: climograph, ecotone

Be sure that you can interpret a climograph (like figure 52.20).
II. population ecology
A. Population ecology is the study of populations in relation to __________
B. A population is:
C. define the following: density, dispersion, range
D. How does the mark-recapture method to estimate population size work? Include the formula and definition of the terms in
the formula.
E. What is demography?
F.
define and be able to use/interpret:
1. life tables
2. survivorship curves
3. reproductive tables
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BIOL 1020 – ECOLOGY UNIT LECTURE NOTES
G. define and be able to use/interpret the exponential population growth model
H. define and be able to use/interpret the logistic population growth model
1. define and understand the terms K and r
2. describe K-selection and r-selection

What sort of life tables and survivorship curves would you expect for each type?

give examples of organisms of each type

If given a typical life history for an organism be able to categorize it as K-selected and r-selected.
I.
List and describe six density-dependent factors known to affect population growth rates.
J.
Describe how population cycles may be linked between predators and their prey.
K. Human population history and future
1. Be sure that you understand figures 53.22-26.
2. What was industrial revolution and how did it affect human population growth?
3. What is the demographic transition and how does it affect human population growth?
4. What is the global carrying capacity for humans?
III. community ecology
A. Community ecology is the study of __________
B. A biological community is:
C. describe the following interspecific interactions in general terms of the +/-/0 system
1. competition

define the terms (ecological) niche, resource partitioning, and character displacement
2. predation

Describe how these defenses can help animals avoid predation:

camouflage

warning coloration

Batesian mimicry

Müllerian mimicry
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BIOL 1020 – ECOLOGY UNIT LECTURE NOTES
3. herbivory
4. parasitism
5. mutualism

What is the difference between obligate and facultative mutualism?
6. commensalism
D. What is symbiosis? Which interspecific interactions are types of symbiosis?
E. What is keystone species and a pivotal niche?
F.
What is a food web? How do energetic limits affect food webs/chains?
G. Describe ecological succession, primary succession, and secondary succession.
IV. ecosystems
A. Diagram the biogeochemical cycles of
1. water
2. carbon
3. nitrogen
4. phosphorus
B. Describe how biomagnification (biological magnification) of a toxin works in an ecosystem.
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BIOL 1020 – ECOLOGY UNIT LECTURE NOTES
C. How we almost killed ourselves: the ozone hole story (see fig 55.25)
1. Describe the importance of the ozone layer.
2. Describe how human activities led to depletion of the ozone layer.
3. Describe what humans have done about the depletion of the ozone layer.
D. How we still might kill ourselves: global warming (see fig 55.21)
1. Describe the greenhouse effect and why CO2 is called a greenhouse gas.
2. Describe how human activities increase CO2 in the atmosphere, the logic behind how that leads to global warming, and
the evidence that global warming is occurring.
3. Describe what effects global warming may have. What is the feed-forward effect of thawing tundra?
4. Describe what humans have done about the global warming.
E. Define ecosystem biodiversity, species biodiversity, genetic biodiversity
F.
Describe the value of biodiversity in
1. maintaining the global ecosystem and biogeochemical cycles
2. providing unique resources such as food, remediation, drugs
3. intrinsic value of biodiversity
G. The sixth extinction, or how we are killing lots of things and perhaps ultimately ourselves as well.
1. What is habitat loss and how is it affecting life on Earth today?
2. What are introduced species and how are they affecting life on Earth today?
3. What is overexploitation and how is it affecting life on Earth today?
4. What is the sixth extinction? What can humans do about it?
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