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Ecology and Evolution. Introduction (cont.). Ecological Revolution. N. i.r. time. Haeckel 1870s Broaden’s “Ecology”. ↑Need for understanding human impact on planet including studying organisms and their surroundings. Human Population Explosion ↑Materialism ↑Resource exploitation

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ecology and evolution

Ecology and Evolution

Introduction (cont.)

Ecological Revolution




Haeckel 1870s

Broaden’s “Ecology”

↑Need for understanding human impact on planet

including studying organisms and their surroundings

Human Population Explosion


↑Resource exploitation

↓Habitat (Environmental) Quality

Darwin 1859

Origin of Species



biological hierarchies
Biological Hierarchies

Habitat – place or physical setting in which and organism lives

Ecological Revolution at

all scales of ecological



… and at all levels of

species diversity when

ecologists take into account

the evolutionary relationships

among organisms.

Evolutionary hierarchy

how does the physical abiotic environment affect life on earth
How does the physical (abiotic) environment affect life on earth?
  • Concept behind the idea of the habitat:
    • The abiotic environment tends to place constraints on life.
    • example:
      • blood and tissues of vertebrates tend to freeze above temperatures found in antarctic waters.

Notothenoid fish

-1.9° C

glycopeptide and peptide antifreeze compounds

Outer-tissues have ice on them and the spleen

Biology = solutions

other constraints
Other constraints
  • Gravity
    • solutions:
        • Flight: wings, metabolic level
        • Gliding: mammals, frogs, snakes
        • Bones
  • Arid Environments

(no water for photosynthesis)

    • solutions:
        • Cactus: waxy outer covering,
        • stomata, ↑storage capacity,
        • suberized roots etc.
main points
Main points
  • Live exists in constant tension with its abiotic, physical surroundings (habitat)
  • Tolerance for extremes for chance to reproduce.


Growth and repair

Survive and maintain

Energy available

Life and Ecosystems are in a state of


consideration of some abiotic elements important for life
Consideration of some abiotic elements important for life
  • Water
    • Abundant on Earth
    • Excellent solvent
    • Facilitates the movement of many organisms
    • Main ingredient in photosynthesis
    • Remains in liquid state over a large range of temperatures
    • Resists change in state
      • to freeze: remove 80cal/g
      • to evaporate: add 500cal/g
    • Thermal inertia
    • Density and Temperature
density and temperature of water
Substance X

cools becomes more dense


cools becomes more dense to about 4°

then expands! (ice floats)



Density and temperature of water

Why important?

Bottoms of bodies of water do not freeze

floating layer of ice + layer of snow = insulation

dormant plants and

reproductive bodies

excellent solvent
Excellent solvent
  • Natural waters contain dissolved substances that are building blocks of life

B. Solutes

Na, Cl, Mg, SO4

N – nucleic acids, protein

P – na, phospholipids, bone

S – proteins

K – solute in animal cells

Ca – bone, plant structures

Fe – Proteins (hemeglobin)

c carbon and oxygen
C. Carbon and Oxygen
  • solutes that receive special mention
    • Immediately tied to life via:
      • acidity
      • respiration and photosynthetic reactions

D. Light and Heat

  • Sources of heat:
    • Sun
    • Geothermal
    • Metabolic