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ECOLOGY. THE INTRODUCTION. Ecology. Study of the interactions of living organisms with each other and with their physical environment Concerned with distribution and abundance of organisms at several different levels. Organismal ecology.

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Ecology

ECOLOGY

THE INTRODUCTION


Ecology1
Ecology

  • Study of the interactions of living organisms with each other and with their physical environment

  • Concerned with distribution and abundance of organisms at several different levels


Organismal ecology
Organismal ecology

  • How organisms are affected by, and affect, their environment

  • How organisms can tolerate where they live (environmental stresses)

  • Physiological ecology


Population ecology
Population ecology

  • Groups of individuals of the same species within a particular geographical area

  • Factors that affect population distribution, size


Community ecology
Community ecology

  • All species that inhabit a particular area

  • Concerned with competition, predation, other interactions


Ecosystem ecology
Ecosystem ecology

  • All living organisms within an area, plus that part of the physical environment with which they interact

  • Concerns flow of energy, matter, biogeochemical cycling



Goals of ecology1
Goals of ecology

  • 1) To understand or explain how nature functions

  • 2) To develop some degree of predictability concerning how natural ecosystems will respond to changing conditions

  • Especially important given the influences that humans often have on the environment


Scientific rigor
Scientific rigor

  • Science differs from other activities because statements are based on conclusions:

  • that are results of investigations meant to derive those conclusions (directed activity);

  • to which a level of confidence can be attached (statistics: Box 1.2, pp. 12-14; Box 1.3, pp. 14-15).


Think ahead
Think ahead!

  • Analysis plan is a part of experimental design


Conclusions
Conclusions

  • Based on representative samples from a larger group/habitat

  • Estimates from representative samples (Box 1.4, pp. 16-17)

  • Free from human bias


Diversity of ecological evidence
Diversity of Ecological Evidence

  • 1) Observations (descriptive data)

    • Careful monitoring within the natural environment to detect patterns


Diversity of ecological evidence1
Diversity of Ecological Evidence

  • 2) Field experiments

    • Manipulative experiments in the field to establish cause of observed patterns


Diversity of ecological evidence2
Diversity of Ecological Evidence

  • 3) Laboratory experiments

    • Controlled conditions

    • Simplified system

    • Address specific questions


Diversity of ecological evidence3
Diversity of Ecological Evidence

  • 4) Mathematical modeling

    • Computer-aided




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