Ecology Study Notes

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BIOLOGY 331: GENERAL ECOLOGY
TEST 1, FALL 2009
STUDY GUIDE
Concepts:
What is Ecology?
• Foundation Disciplines (esp., behavior, ecology, genetics, evolution) • What it is not (i.e., not a study of environmental problems, but rather a study of interactions among organisms and environment)

Levels of Organization
• Individual organism
• Population
• Community
• Ecosystem (with the abiotic environment)

Limiting Factors – abiotic vs. biotic
Adaptation
• Ecotypic adaptation vs.
phenotypic plasticity
• Examples

Examples of Laws and Rules governing organism’s/population’s success • Liebig’s Law of the Minimum
• Blackman’s Law of Limiting Factors
• Shelford’s Law of Tolerance
• Bergmann’s Rule – role of S/V
• Allen’s Rule – role of S/V
• Gloger’s Rule – pigmentation in hot, humid climates

Ecosystem Processes
• Water Cycle
• Water and plants
• Photosynthesis
• movement based on Ψ (Greek symbol, psi, water potential) • transpiration-cohesion hypothesis
• Pollution and water-use efficiency
• Animal adaptations to drought and excess water conditions • Freshwater vs. marine osmotic balance adaptations
• Mammalian nephron structure and function
• Effects of relative nephron length
• Nutrients
• functions of specific nutrients
• Carbon cycle
• Know diagram
• Nitrogen cycle
• Know processes:
Fixation, ammonification, nitrification, denitrification • Phosphorus cycle
• Know diagram
• Human impacts on nutrient cycles
• Fertilizers and Eutrophication

Effects of Global Change and Elevated CO2
• Global warming
• Domino effect with ΔN content
• Community shift with ΔWUE

Trophic interactions and energy flow
• Energy and work
• Trophic terminology (types of feeders)
• Autotroph, heterotroph, producer, consumer, herbivore,...
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