Macro climate
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Macro-climate - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Macro-climate. Radiation, wind, precipitation, Coriolis force Effects of latitude, land & water, maritime climate, topography, etc. Rainshadow effect Major biome: desert, grassland, forest, taiga, tundra. What aspect of environmental factors is relevant?.

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Macro climate l.jpg


  • Radiation, wind, precipitation, Coriolis force

  • Effects of latitude, land & water, maritime climate, topography, etc.

  • Rainshadow effect

  • Major biome: desert, grassland, forest, taiga, tundra

What aspect of environmental factors is relevant l.jpg

What aspect of environmental factors is relevant?

  • Maximum, minimum, averages, or the level of variability? synergistic effect?


  • thermal profile

    Aquatic ecosystem

  • light, thermocline, salinity, etc.

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Physical resources and limiting factors

  • Range of the optimum

  • Liebig's law of minimum

  • Shelford's law of tolerance

  • Limiting factors

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Effects of abiotic factors on distribution and abundance

  • Temperature - treeline and coral bleaching

  • Water and salinity - fog belt and tidal flooding

  • Nutrient - lemming cycle

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  • Phenotypic plasticity-- environmentally induced phenotypic variation

  • Acclimation (vs. acclimatization) -- physiological adjustment to a changed environment

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  • Principle of allocation: trade-offs in allocating time, energy, and other resources among various conflicting demands

  • Homeostasis--Maintenance of relative constant internal conditions in the face of a varying external environment

  • Adaptation to heat, cold, dry, wet, pressure, low oxygen supply, etc.

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Principle of heat transfer

Hs =Hm± Hcd± Hcv± Hr±He

  • Hs = heat storage by the organism

  • Hm = metabolic heat production (always + for a living organism)

  • Hcd, cv = conductive (and convective) heat exchange

  • Hr = radiation heat exchange

  • He = evaporate heat exchange

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Temperature regulation in plants

  • Desert plant – ↓ heating by conduction, ↓ rates of radiative heating, ↑rates of convective cooling

    Hs =Hcd± Hcv± Hr

  • Foliage far enough above the ground, small leaves, open growth form, reflective surface or dense hair, changing orientation of leaves and stems

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  • Arctic and alpine plant – ↑ rates of radiative heating, ↓ rates of convective cooling

    Hs = Hcd± Hcv± Hr

    Dark pigment, cushion growth form, hug the ground, change orientation

  • Tropical alpine plant – little annual but much daily temperature fluctuation

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  • Giant rosette growth form

    retain dead leaves

    dense and thick pubescence

    retaining large amount of water to store heat

    close over the apical buds at night

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  • ectotherm vs. endotherm

  • poikilotherm vs. homeotherm

    E = cm0.67

  • Body mass ~ metabolic rate ~ food habits ~ foraging behavior ~ home range ~ social organization

  • morphological, physiological, behavioral specialization

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  • Morphological

    • Bergman's rule, Allen's rule, pigmentation, fur, blubber, …

  • Behavioral

    • Basking, hiding, shivering, huddle, …

  • Physiological

    • Hypo-, hyper-thermia, countercurrent heat exchange, torpor…

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Other factors

  • Moisture, nutrient, light, pH, soil, etc.

  • Tolerance of pollution

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  • Types of fire: surface, ground, crown

  • Effect of fire

    • removal of plant cover

    • removal of litter

    • effects on minerals

    • effects on animals

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  • Effect of typhoon

  • Responses to climatic changes

  • Ecological indicators

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Distribution of snail and

ground temperature

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Herbivory and plant defenses

  • morphological defenses

  • chemical defenses

  • associational resistance

    • enemies hypothesis

    • resource concentration hypothesis

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Effects of herbivory

  • Individual, population, communities, types of animals, productivity

  • Direct effect: survival, fecundity, and growth

  • Indirect effect: changes in competition between species and microclimate

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  • At ecosystem level

    • Structure and plant composition

    • Redistribution of nutrient through droppings

    • erosion

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  • Individual strategies

    • Hiding

    • Making prey location more difficult, e.g. freezing, camouflage, mimicry (Batesian vs. Mullerian), removing evidence

    • Making predator hesitate

    • Making capture more difficult, e.g. vigilance, stotting, fleeing, misdirecting

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  • Fight back: physical resistance or chemical warfare

  • Cooperative defense

    • increase vigilance

    • selfish herd

    • dilution effect

    • group mobbing

    • Alarm call

  • Slide22 l.jpg

    Optimal theory

    • The theory used to generate hypotheses about the adaptive value of characteristics which analyzes the costs and benefits of alternative decisions in terms of their fitness payoffs

    • Behavioral strategies be analyzed in terms of cost and benefit in affecting Darwinian fitness (survival and reproduction)

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    Selecting what to eat (optimal diet)

    • Profitability of prey = E/h

      • When encounter prey 1, eat prey 1.

      • When encounter prey 2, eat prey 2

      • if gain from eating prey 2 > gain from rejecting prey 2 and searching for another prey 1

        E1/ h1 > E2/ h2, eat E2

        if E2 / h2 > E1/(S1 + h1) or S1> (E1h2 / E2) - h1

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    • Prediction

      • Predator should be either a specialist or generalist.

      • The decision of specializing depends on S1 (or the availability of prey 1)

      • The switch should be sudden

    • Examples: bluegill sunfish, great tit, crows, oystercatchers, etc.

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