This week we will be discussing an aspect of organismal biology that plays into it's population ecology intimately - life history. Please watch this video and respond to the discussion points below.
What is life history?
What is fecundity?
Compare and contrast the life histories of the three organisms discussed in this video.
Compare and contrast semelparity and iteroparity.
What is meant by 'fitness'?
We talk about the combinations of life cycle variables like fecundity, age of reproduction, and life span as 'life history strategies'. Discuss how natural selection may have lead to alternative life history strategies.
How do you think an organism's life history might be related to its population ecology? (Hint, think growth rates.)
How do you think life history variables relate to our projects on bats of Belize and small mammals of Madagascar?
Dear Students -
This week we'll take population ecology to a more complex level by examining the important dynamics of predator-prey relationships. Please watch this YouTube video and this one as well. Then respond to the following discussion topics.
What is co-evolution?
What is predation? Think broadly defined.
What are the types of predation?
What are some examples of adaptations predators have for capturing their prey?
What are some examples of adaptations prey have for avoiding being preyed upon?
What is aposematism? What are some examples?
What is mimicry?
The predator-prey dynamics of the lynx and the hare is one of the most classic examples of predator prey dynamics. Describe the relationship between the population sizes of predators and prey (the predator-prey cycle).
How might predator-prey dynamics fit into our studies of the bats of Belize and the small mammals of Madagascar?
Dear Students -
Great responses to last week's video and questions! This week we will continue exploring some of the basics of ecology, starting with the first level of complexity - the population. What regulates population size? In other words, what determines whether a population will increase or decrease over time? Please watch this Introduction to Population Regulation and respond to the following discussion topics. For this discussion, I also ask you to explore the topic a little more deeply, for example by reading up about population regulation here and doing some internet research on your own.
What are the two types of population regulation and what makes them different?
What is meant by logistic growth? What makes logistic growth different from exponential growth?
What is the term for the 'cap' on population size or the maximum population size?
What biological factors limit population growth rates?
What are some examples of factors that regulate populations that are not related to population size itself?
What did Thomas Malthus say about people?
How might these concepts be related to the research we're doing on small mammals of Madagascar and bats of Belize?
Please watch this Introduction to Ecology video and answer the following questions by adding Comments to this blog. Please answer by midnight Monday Oct 10. Enjoy!
What is Ecology?
What are biotic factors? Give an example of a biotic factor involved in the ecology of Central Park.
What are abiotic factors? Give an example of an abiotic factor involved in the ecology of Central Park.
What are the scales of study in ecology? List them at increasing levels of complexity.
Give an example of ways different biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem interact with each other. How might this apply in our projects about the bats of Belize and the small mammals of Madagascar?