Chat with us, powered by LiveChat MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL THE EIGHT LECTURES: Outline important topics for review, organized by lectu | Max paper



Outline important topics for review, organized by lecture (Weeks 6-9)

  • Minimum 5 bullet points per lecture
  • Each bullet should include topic and brief description of what you should know (e.g. mark-recapture: equation N/m=s/r, assumptions, methods of marking)
  • Review lecture slides and book
  • Can include figures you think are important/challenging
  • No page limit

I will send you the lectures after you accept as there are too many/it is too large to upload beforehand. All lectures are based on ecology.

Welcome to EEB 100 (part II):

Introduction to Ecology

Instructor: Alison Lipman, Ph.D. Ecology

Lecturer, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Co-founder / President SELVA International

Email: [email protected]

Office: Mira Hershey 320

Office Hours: Tuesday 12:30-2:00 or by appt.

Amazon Forest, Bolivia

My Amazon


River Turtle Conservation: Bolivia,
IUCN, SSC, Red-listing group

Wildlife Rehab
Parque Machia, Bolivia

Wild Harvested Acai,
Comunidad de Porvenir,

Amazon Exchange Program
Noel Kempff Mercado NP

Eco Education, Indigenous
Communities del Bajo Paragua

Before in LA…

Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly
Project & Habitat Mapping

Habitat Restoration: Palos Verdes,
Santa Monica Mountains

Native Plant Propagation: Palos Verdes,
Santa Monica Mountains, Theodore
Payne, Tarweed Native Plants

Bioassessment, Water Quality
Studies, Santa Monica Mountains

Now in LA…

Native Garden Coalition

California Friendly Gardens: HOWs,

EcoGardens, & Research

Fight Against Plastics

Farmer’s Markets’ Sustainability

Course Info

• Be sure to check the course website for

additional readings/videos.

• This class is not podcasted, so check posted

notes, and take your own!

– Posted notes will not contain all pics for ease of

printing and copyright.

Have a question?

**First read your syllabus!

Contact your TAs:
• Questions related to lab or grading

Email me:
• Questions about class logistics

• Appointments to meet in person (if you have a conflict with

office hours)

• Brief clarification of lecture material that your TA cannot


 Expect 1-2 days to receive a response, longer on weekends

Use my office hours for:
• In depth questions about material

• To come chat about ecology, conservation, etc!

Course Material / Final Exam

• Use my lecture notes as an outline.

• Refer to the textbook for more detail.

• I will follow the textbook, as long as I like it!

• Be sure to read the assigned Ecological Applications!

• All assigned videos and articles will also be included.

• I care about concepts, NOT pointless details (e.g. dates,
names, difficult terms)

Tips to help you succeed in this course

• Do readings before coming to lecture.

• Come to lecture – there will be quizzes!

• Actively take notes during lecture.

• Attend office hours – don’t wait until it’s too


Classroom Courtesy

Cell phones are toxic- to the natural environment AND the learning

environment, so please turn off in lecture and discussion!

Lecture 1: Intro to Ecology
What is it? What’s it good for? Why study it?

“Spaceship Earth” (K. E. Boulding)

Earthrise is a photograph of the Earth taken by astronaut William Anders in 1968, during

the Apollo 8 mission. Nature photographer Galen Rowell declared it “the most influential

environmental photograph ever taken.”

What is Ecology?

• ECO-
– from Ancient Greek οἶκος (oikos, “house, household”)

– from the Greek verb λέγειν (legein, “to speak”) the study of [a

certain subject]”

• Ecology is the scientific study of our home/environment

Our textbook


“Ecology is the study of the relationship

between organisms and their environment.”

Ecology is…

• The study of any and/or all interactions

involving organisms (life) and their


Ecology is Science

• Ecology is the science most disrespected by

the media, our government, and the public.

• Has being an ecologist become an act of

political revolution?

• Why does our government disrespect ecology

as a science?

An Interdisciplinary /

Collaborative Science

• Population Ecology

• Community Ecology

• Ecosystem Ecology

• Landscape Ecology

• Evolutionary Ecology

• Physiological Ecology

• Conservation

• Restoration Ecology

• Human Ecology

• Plant Ecology

• Animal Ecology

• Etc.

History of Ecology
• 18th – 19th century widespread exploration to

discover and claim the natural world
– Darwin and Wallace and others travel the

world cataloging nature

– Biogeography and evolution

• 20th century – e.g., geochemical cycling,
biosphere, succession, and population

• Today people focus more and more on human
– How are humans impacting the environment

and what can we can do to protect it?

The Human Impact

(Fig. 5.9 from Chapter 5 of Global Glacier Changes, courtesy United Nations Environment


The downward curve

Ocean Acidification

Some local problems…

Human Impact on the Environment

• Population growth & an
ever-growing demand for
resources has led to:
– Decline in resources (land,

water, food, air, materials)

– Biodiversity loss

– Climate change

– Pollution

• We need to:
– Redefine our relationship

with nature

– Stop resource decline in
order to save life on Earth

Theoretical Ecology

• Knowledge for the sake of knowledge

• It’s interesting to know how long it takes for

detritus to rot, what soil organisms do in the soil,

why birds make such long migrations, etc.

• Background information that is the basis of

Applied Ecology.

Ecology = Conservation

But, ecology is (one of) the backbone(s) of conservation

The other backbone of


Applied Ecology

Using science to do something real:

• How to best manage resources?

• How to restore degraded systems?

• How to conserve endangered species?

• How are we going to save life on Earth?

Applied Ecology: why I decided to become an ecologist

“Conservation” without ecology…

– Monkeys in Bolivia

– Habitat “restoration” in Los Angeles

• T. Longcore dissertation

• PVPLC & seeds

– Turtle conservation

An even worse example: Belo Monte

& all dams in lowland areas

• Belief (not based in science):

– Dams produce “green,” carbon neutral


– Dams are great!

• Truth (based in science):

– Dams can produce more greenhouse gas

emissions than coal power plants with the

same energy output.

Located on the Xingu River, main tributary of the Amazon River, the world’s third largest dam

Belo Monte

Time out for part of a movie:




• (-2:30, 7:15-21:05)

The point is…

• We can’t stop environmental destruction & we
can’t live sustainably, if we don’t understand how
ecosystems function.

• Until the present, decisions in our society have been
based on short-term human needs & greed/profit

• Ecology needs to become the basis of all decisions
we make:
– Economics

– Political

– Energy

– Resource use

– Infrastructure

– Etc.

Some Ecological Concepts…


• Coined by Sir Arthur Tansley, an English botanist in 1935:

Ecological system: “biotic and abiotic

components considered as a whole.”
-Eugene Odum

Hierarchical Structure

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.


How do variations in topography

and soils across the landscape

influence patterns of species

composition and diversity in the

different prairie communities?


Is the population of this species

increasing, decreasing, or

remaining relatively constant

from year to year?


How does this species interact

with other species of plants

and animals in the prairie



How do yearly variations in

rainfall influence the productivity

of plants in this prairie grassland



What characteristics allow

the Echinacea to survive,

grow, and reproduce in the

environment of the prairie

grasslands of central North



What features of geology and

regional climate determine the

transition from forest to prairie

grassland ecosystems

in North America?


What is the role of the grassland

biome in the global carbon cycle?

Slide 7

Scientific Method

• A powerful tool for understanding nature

• Minimizes bias through standardization &


• Empirical (verifiable by observation /


• Logical

• Conservative

• Isn’t the only way of acquiring knowledge!

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.


All scientific studies begin with

observations of natural phenomenon.


Observations give rise to questions

that seek an explanation of the

observed phenomenon.


An answer to the question is

proposed that takes the form of a

statement of cause and effect.


Predictions that

follow from the

hypothesis must

be identified.



must be


Hypothesis Testing

The predictions that follow from the

hypothesis must be tested through

observations and experiments (field

and laboratory). Data from these

experiments must then be analyzed

and interpreted to determine if they

support or reject the hypothesis.

If the experiment

results agree with

the predictions,

further observations

will be made and

further hypotheses

and predictions will

be developed to

expand the scope of

the problem being


If the experiment

results are not

consistent with

the predictions,

then the conceptual

model of how the

system works must

be reconsidered and

a new hypothesis

must be


Slide 7

Scientific Method

1. Make observations and develop a question.

There are less turtles than before. What is
leading to their decline?

Scientific Method

2. Develop tentative answers- hypotheses.
• Should be guided by experience & knowledge

• Must be testable (disprovable)

• Multiple working hypotheses – don’t treat your hypothesis like an only child!

3. Design an experiment to test the hypothesis
(1) Lab experiment

(2) Field Manipulative experiment

(3) Field “Natural” experiment

Scientific Method

One of my hypotheses: Human consumption is
causing a decline in local turtle populations.

Scientific Method

4. Collect data

– Qualitative/quantitative

Scientific Method

5. Analyze & interpret the data.

– Statistics

Scientific Method

6. Draw conclusions from the data.

Scientific Method

7. Determine whether results support or disprove the


Scientific Method

8. If the hypotheses are consistent with predictions, conduct

additional experiments to test further, or if rejected,

construct new hypotheses (and repeat process).

Scientific Theory

“A grand scheme that relates and explains many observations

and is supported by a great deal of evidence.”

(Botkin & Keller 2011)

“An integrated set of hypotheses that together explain a

broader set of observations than any single hypothesis.”

(Smith & Smith 2015)

Can never be absolutely proven to be true.

Scientific Models

• Simplified constructs of nature

• Based on accumulated knowledge / data

• Models are useful to predict events, etc.

• Models are not perfect and need to be updated.

Uncertainty in Science

• Science is a continuous process.

• We will never have all the facts.

• We are limited to inspecting only a part of
nature because to understand, we need to

• Human error

Ecology can be fun…

Lecture 2: Population Ecology
– Ch. 8

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Why study Population Ecology?

In order to conserve species we need to know:

 Which species are threatened?
 In decline?

 Vulnerable to habitat change?

 Cause of decline?
 Which part of the population is in decline, and


 Is decline related to density, distribution, or range?

 Problem of numbers or genetic diversity?

 Are conservation efforts working?
 Is a species’ population increasing, declining, or


 Change in distribution?

Properties of Populations

 A population is a group of individuals of the

same species that inhabit a given area and are

able to interbreed

 Populations have structure

 density

 spacing

 age distribution

 Populations are dynamic, changing over time

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organisms May Be Unitary or Modular

 Unitary organisms exist as individuals

 After fertilization, the zygote grows into a genetically

unique organism through a series of predictable


 Most animals are unitary organisms

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

 Modular organism

 produces more, similar modules

 Most plants are modular

 develop by branching, producing repeated structural


 The fundamental unit above-ground is the leaf, with

its axillary bud and internode

 Roots also show modular growth

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organisms May Be Unitary or Modular

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Figure 8.1 Step 4 Slide 4

Axillary bud




Basic vegetative unit


Vegetative units

repeat along the stem
Vegetative branches

form from axillary buds,

and are made of

additional vegetative





Whole plant in a collective of

units making up both the shoot

and root systems

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

 Suckers – new stems that sprout

from surface roots and may appear

to be individuals

 Genet – plant produced by sexual

reproduction, a genetic individual

 Ramet – module produced

asexually by a genet (a clone)

Reproduction in Plants



Clones Parent

In woody plants (shrubs and trees), such as an aspen tree (Populus tremuloides),

ramets develop from root suckers. They appear to be individuals!

Pando -105-acre clonal colony of Quaking Aspen in Utah, connected by a single root

system. At least 80,000 years ago. Some estimates as old as 1 million years.

At 6,615 tons, Pando is the heaviest living organism on earth.

 To study populations of modular organisms, both

individual (genet) and module (ramet) must be


 This can be challenging

 molecular studies can distinguish

 Ramets are often counted as individuals, and

they often function this way, but diversity must be

considered in conservation applications.

 The distribution of a

population is the area over

which it occurs.

 Where individuals are present

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Distribution of a Population

Geographic Range

 Encompasses all of the individuals of a species

 Individuals are found in suitable habitats within that

geographic range

 This range is limited by

 Abiotic factors, e.g., temperature, soil moisture,


 Biotic factors, e.g., predation, competition, parasitism

Giant Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis


© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

 The range of the red maple is limited by temperature

in the north and drier conditions in the Midwest

Endemic Species

 Ubiquitous species – geographically widespread

 Endemic species – geographically restricted

 many have specialized habitat requirements

Geographic Barriers

 Reduce/prevent individuals colonizing new areas

 bodies of water, including rivers; mountains; large

areas of unsuitable habitat such as deserts

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Genetic differences across ranges

 It’s important to understand the

genetic/physiological variability across a range

 E.g. Habitat restoration

• Populations divided into
subpopulations that live
in suitable habitat
patches surrounded by
unsuitable habitat

• The environment is

• Spatially separated but
connected by the
movement of




Pine barrens





Locality Colony Clump













clay bank

Distribution of

moss (Tetraphis

that requires


Human altered landscapes function as





 Abundance: # of

individuals in the


 Population

density: # of


 Density of cell 1 =

5 ind/m2

 3 kinds of


 Random distribution: the position of one

individual is independent of another

 the scattering of plant seeds by the wind can lead

to a random distribution of plants after the seeds


© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.


 Organisms are found at a regular distance

from one another

 Often the result of negative interactions

among individuals such as competition

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Uniform Distribution


Nesting Shorebirds

Acacia: uniformly spaced because of competition for water and nutrients

 Individuals are found in groups

 This is the most common spatial distribution and results
from a number of factors

 suitable habitat or resources are found in patches

 species form social groups (herds, flocks, schools)

 ramets formed by asexual reproduction

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Clumped Distributions


Figure 8.11

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.



Acacia tortilis

Euclea divinorum

20 m

20 m

Spatial distributions of

individuals may be

described at multiple

spatial scales…

How to determine population size?

Population size (abundance)

 population density  the area occupied

Determining Density Requires Sampling

A complete count may be possible if both the

abundance and area occupied are small, or if an

area is very open so that all individuals can be seen

 If an organism is sessile (attached), like a plant or coral,

sampling can be done using quadrats/ sampling units

 Area is divided into subunits

 # of individuals counted a random sample of subunits

 Mean density X total Area = Estimate of population size

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Determining Density Requires Sampling

 Depends largely on the spatial distribution of

individuals in the population

 works well if individuals have a uniform distribution

 works less well with a random or clumped distribution

 important to report a confidence interval or some

estimate of variation

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Determining Density Requires Sampling

10 Randomly Placed Quadrats 20 Randomly Placed Quadrats

Randomly sampling – # of samples matters!

 Mark-recapture is the most commonly used

technique to measure animal population size

 This method is based on

 capturing a number of individuals in a population

 marking them

 releasing of marked individuals (M) back into the


 after an appropriate period of time, recapture a

sample of the population

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Determining Density Requires Sampling

N -Total population

m – initially captured and marked individuals

s – captured animals on the second visit

r – the # of ind. marked on the 2nd visit

Ratio: N/M (Total pop/ Initial capture) =

s/r (2nd capture/ marked recapture)

N/m= s/r


1. No effect of marking on probability of recapture – tags

should not be obvious or slow the individual, or reduce

fitness in any way

2. Mixing of marked and unmarked – mix into the entire

population (how much time between sampling events)

3. Captured individuals are representative of the whole

population, not a certain age group or one sex vs another,

only weak

4. Marks are not lost

Methods of Marking

 Tags

 Leg bands

 Pit tags

 Paint

 Chopping off legs

 Etc.

Do these affect fitness?

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

You capture and mark 80 snails by putting a small

spot of white paint on their shells. When you return

five months later, you capture 45 snails and 5 of them

have the mark. Based on these data, the population

has ________________ individuals.

A. 80

B. 128

C. 720

D. 2000

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

 Signs of the presence of animals include:

 counts of vocalizations, such as bird song

 counts of animal scat seen along a length of trail

 counts of animal tracks, such as footprints in snow

Determining Density Without Direct Counts

How would you sample populations of

the giant Amazon river turtle?


 Individuals stay submerged until the nesting


 Individuals weigh a LOT, and are very difficult to


 Individuals migrate great distances throughout

the year.

What we did…

 We did mark recapture – didn’t work.

 We counted ALL the nests on a sample of

nesting beaches – this worked!

Measuring turtle tracks…

Population Structure – Age, Developmental

Stage, and Size

 Abundance doesn’t provide information on the

population characteristics…

 Why would you want to know the age structure

of a population?

 A population with non-overlapping generations does

not have an age structure

 annual plants and some insects

 A population with overlapping generations has an

age structure

 reproduction is restricted to certain age classes

 mortality is more common in certain age classes

 Populations can be divided into three ecologically
important age classes

 pre-reproductive

 reproductive

 post-reproductive

 How long an individual is in each age class depends
on the organism’s life history

 Mice, have a very short span of time between

 Elephants, have a very long span of time between

Measures of Population Structure Include Age,

Developmental Stage, and Size

 The most accurate method is to mark young

individuals in a population and follow their survival

through time

 Dendrochronology – counting annual growth rings

to determine the age of a tree

 Valid for dominant canopy trees, but less so for

understory trees

6 4 2 0 2 4 6

Percentage of population

6 4 2 0 2 4 6

Percentage of population

6 4 2 0 2 4 6

Percentage of population

8 8

















Under 5


Egypt- growing United States- stable Japan- aging

Male Female Male Female Male Female

Population Structure – Age Pyramids

 Plant populations, the distribution of age classes

may be highly skewed

 In a forest, the tall tress can inhibit the survival of

seedlings and the growth and survival of young


 only when the older trees die can trees in younger

age classes access the light, water, and nutrients

they need to grow and develop

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Population Structure

Individuals Move within the Population

 Dispersal is the movement of individuals in space

 emigration – when individuals leave a subpopulation

 immigration – when individuals enter a subpopulation

 Movement of individuals is an important part of meta-

population dynamics

 maintains gene flow between the subpopulations

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Passive vs. Active Dispersal

 Passive dispersal (plants & animals) may include:

 wind

 water

 gravity

 animals

 Active dispersal (animals)

 often the young or subadults

 Factors that affect dispersal

 crowding, food availability/quality, temperature change

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

 Animals can be important dispersers of plant


 Dispersed when an animal eats fruits and the seeds

they contain

 Spines or hooks that attach to animal fur or bird


© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.

Individuals Move within a Population

Individuals Move within a Population

 Migration is movement of organisms that is


 zooplankton move in the water column; lower depths

during the day and the surface at night

 bats leave caves at dusk, move to feeding areas,

then return at dawn

 earthworms move deep into the soil for winter to

avoid freezing, then move back up in the spring

 gray whales feed in the Arctic during the summer,

winter off the California coast where calves are born

© 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.


The gray whale

summers in the

Arctic and Bering

seas; it winters in

the Gulf of California

and the waters off

Baja California

 The populations of many species of trees have

shifted north after the glaciers retreated and the

climate warmed

Population Distribution and Density Change

in Both Time and Space

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