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Ecology Part 2



Defined: gradual change/ replacement process from one community to another as a result of changes in abiotic and biotic factors

Primary Succession
Starts from bare rock/soil or water Living organisms come from nearby

Secondary Succession

When the existing community is disturbed or removed to the soil. Ex: Fire, agriculture

Estuaries and Marshes= Ecotones Why are wetlands important ?

Population Ecology


Defined: A group of organisms of the same kind in a particular place and time A. Population density = number of indiv. per area

B. Distribution
Distribution Clumped Diagram Benefit
Protection (herds/ schools) Ease for mating/ care of young Hunt in packs


Less competition


Take advantage of good sites Roaming individuals

C. Social Organization
Wolves: packs; M & F leaders; submission in fighting Chickens: pecking order Bees: queen, drone, worker Lions: pride, M and many F; hunting & eating order

D. Population Dynamics
1. Age ratio - affected by war, disease, culture 2. Sex ratio - war, disease, culture and genetics
conception Birth - 10
10-20 20-40

mF mF

More male
Equal: genetics Drugs; war; driving Stress; drugs; war; some genetics

60 +


Heart attacks; obesity; alcoholism

Genetics; hormones

3. Birth and Death Rate

a. Developed vs developing countries b. Conception to death c. Environmental pressures
Ex: elephants rates of birth

d. Stable population: balance between

Birth rate + immigration = death rate + emigration

E. Biotic Potential
The maximum growth in the number of organisms in a population under ideal conditions
Why dont organisms reach their biotic potential?

Reproductive Strategies
Maintain populations and maximize fitness for survival 1. R selection: rapid selection (rapid life history): have as many offspring as fast as possible a. Have lots of young if they are small in size: Ex: fish or insects And/or a common prey: Ex: rabbits

R-selection (cont)
b. Masting: all of the offspring at one time - some will be missed (herbivore or predator cant eat all) and make it possible for some to survive
The year without acorns?!

2. K-selection
= Kin selection
Slow life history

Having a few offspring and protecting them until they reach maturity Ex: horse, orangutan, eagle

F. Environmental Resistance
Population limiting factors - prevent from reaching biotic potential

Density dependent factors

Have a greater effect on a crowded(dense) population than a not crowed one
Can be biotic or abiotic factors: ex food and space; predation; disease Hemlock Adelgid

b. Density independent factors

Factors which affect a population in the same way regardless of population size Ex: fire, pH, temperature

c. The 2 major limiting factors in any ecosystem

QuickTime and a decompressor are neede d to see this picture.


d. The interaction between environmental resistance and biotic potential results in

Carrying Capacity The number of organisms that can be supported in a given area under given conditions

Population Graphs
Typical population growth as colonize new area

G. Population Cycles
How the numbers vary over time

Carrying Capacity-balancing the populations