Chapter 3 Objectives

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Chapter 3 Objectives
1. What is an ecosystem and what are its components?
2. How are ecosystem boundaries, imposed by humans, sometimes different from natural boundaries?
3. What determines the productivity of an ecosystem?
4. How efficiently is energy transferred between trophic levels in an ecosystem?
5. Explain the relationship between gross primary productivity and net primary productivity?
6. What are the dominant elements that make up living organisms? Name all 6 macronutrients.
7. Describe the main similarities and differences among the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles?
8. Give an example the difference between resistance and resilience in an ecosystem?
9. What value is gained by studying LTER (long term ecological research) areas like Hubbard Brook?
10. Explain the graph that represents the intermediate disturbance hypothesis?
11. Discuss the factors that go into calculating the instrumental value of an ecosystem?
12. What are the five categories of ecosystem services? Give an example of each.
13. How do the instrumental and intrinsic values of ecosystems differ?
Chapter 4 Objectives
1. What is the difference between weather and climate?
2. Explain the effect of Earth’s rotation on atmospheric circulation and ocean currents?
3. Describe the four properties of air that affect its circulation.
4. What is the ENSO?
5. Recognize the relationship between temperature and precipitation and how they combine to determine
biome characteristics. (see graph)
6. Know how to read a terrestrial climatogram, or climate diagram.
7. Know how to read an aquatic biome climatogram.
8. How are aquatic biomes categorized? Why are they categorized differently than terrestrial biomes?
9. What are the different zones of lakes and the open ocean, and what defines them?
10. How does water depth or flow influence the organisms that live in an aquatic biome?
Chapter 5 Objectives
1. Why is it challenging to determine the number of species on Earth?
2. Describe the measures of species diversity and richness.
3. How is artificial and natural selection similar? How are they different?
4. How does evolution lead to biodiversity?
5. How does geographic isolation lead to reproductive isolation?
6. What factors influence a species’ chances of adapting successfully to a change in its environment?
7. Why is the pace of human-driven evolution faster than that of natural evolutionary processes?
8. How do fundamental niches and realized niches differ?
9. Explain how environmental change affects speciation and extinction.
10. How does environmental change determine species distribution? When does it lead to extinction?
11. How are human activities affecting extinction rates, and why is their impact a particular concern?
12. Explain the concept of an ecological niche.
Chapter 6 Objectives
1. What levels of complexity make up the biosphere?
2. What do scientists study at each level of complexity?
3. How do populations and communities differ?
4. What factors regulate the size of a population?
5. What is the difference between density-dependent and density-independent factors that influence
population size? Give an example of each.
6. What characteristics describe K-selected species?
7. What characteristics describe r-selected species?
8. What is a metapopulation? How do metapopulations contribute to the preservation of biodiversity?
9. Explain growth models, reproductive strategies, survivorship curves, and metapopulations.
10. What are the various ways in which species interact with one another?
11. What are the four types of predators?
12. What roles might a keystone species play in an ecosystem?
13. Understand the process of succession in terrestrial and aquatic biomes.
14. How are species distributed globally, and what processes are responsible for these patterns?
15. Explain how latitude, time, area, and distance affect the species richness of a community
16. What does the theory of island biogeography describe?
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