Ecology: Population Ecology (2) NATURAL SELECTION This includes

Ecology: Population Ecology (2) NATURAL SELECTION  This includes

Ecology: Population Ecology (2) NATURAL SELECTION This includes describing how organisms respond to the environment and how organisms are distributed. Events that occur in the framework of ecological time (minutes, months, years) translate into effects over the longer scale of evolutionary time (decades, centuries, millennia, and longer).


5 MODES OF SELECTION 6 MODES OF SELECTION Disruptive- produces a bimodal curve as the extreme traits are favored

Stabilizing-reduces variance over time as the traits move closer to the mean Directional-favors a phenotypic trait (selected by the environment) SCENARIO These photographs show the same location on Captiva

Island following Hurricane Charley. What would happen to a population of birds who derive their diets from the tree tops? The population had a wide range of beak sizes. What would happen to the population gene pool over time if the new environment favored smaller beaks? Over

time, which beak would be most represented in the population of birds? 8 HYDRANGEA FLOWER COLOR Hydrangea react to the environment and ultimately display their phenotype based on the pH of their soil. Hydrangea flower color is affected

by light and soil pH. Soil pH exerts the main influence on which color a hydrangea plant will display. 9 FISH AND MAINTAINING HOMEOSTASIS IN VARIOUS WATER CONDITIONS Fish and other aquatic animals deal with changing environments in

part due to nature and in part due to human interactions. Pressure- their bladder fills with gas to equalize internal pressure 10 BIOGEOGRAPHIC REALMS 11

INTRODUCED SPECIES Whats the big deal? These species are free from predators, parasites and pathogens that limit their populations in their native habitats. These transplanted species disrupt their new community by preying on native organisms or outcompeting them for

resources. 12 GUAM: BROWN TREE SNAKE The brown tree snake was accidentally introduced to Guam as a stowaway in military cargo from other parts of the South Pacific after World War II. Since then, 12 species of birds and 6 species of lizards the

snakes ate have become extinct. Guam had no native snakes. Dispersal of Brown Tree Snake 13 SOUTHERN U.S.: KUDZU VINE The Asian plant Kudzu was introduced by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture with good intentions. It was introduced from Japanese pavilion in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

It was to help control erosion but has taken over large areas of the landscape in the Southern U.S. 14 INTRODUCED SPECIES 15 NEW YORK: EUROPEAN STARLING From the New York Times, 1990

The year was 1890 when an eccentric drug manufacturer named Eugene Schieffelin entered New York City's Central Park and released some 60 European starlings he had imported from England. In 1891 he loosed 40 more. Schieffelin's motives were as romantic as they were ill fated: he hoped to introduce into North America every bird mentioned by Shakespeare. Skylarks and song thrushes failed to thrive, but the enormity of his success with starlings

continues to haunt us. This centennial year is worth observing as an object lesson in how even noble intentions can lead to disaster when humanity meddles with nature. 16 NEW YORK: EUROPEAN STARLING From the New York Times, 1990 (cont.) Today the starling is ubiquitous, with its purple and green iridescent plumage and its rasping,

insistent call. It has distinguished itself as one of the costliest and most noxious birds on our continent. Roosting in hordes of up to a million, starlings can devour vast stores of seed and fruit, offsetting whatever benefit they confer by eating insects. In a single day, a cloud of omnivorous starlings can gobble up 20 tons of potatoes. 17

ZEBRA MUSSELS The native distribution of the species is in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea in Eurasia. Zebra mussels have become an invasive species in North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. They disrupt the ecosystems by monotypic (one type) colonization, and damage harbors and waterways, ships and boats, and water treatment and

power plants. 18 ZEBRA MUSSELS Water treatment plants are most impacted because the water intakes bring the microscopic free-swimming larvae directly into the facilities. The Zebra Mussels also cling on to pipes under the water and

clog them. This shopping cart was left in zebra mussel-infested waters for a few months. The mussels have colonized every available surface on the cart. (J. Lubner, Wisconsin Sea Grant, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.) 19

ZEBRA MUSSEL RANGE 20 During all life stages, SNAKEHEAD snakeheads compete with native species for food and habitat.

FISH As juveniles, they eat zooplankton, insect larvae, small crustaceans, and the young of other fishes. As adults, they feed on other fishes, crustaceans, frogs, small reptiles, and sometimes birds and small mammals. Their predatory behavior

could drastically disrupt food webs and ecological conditions, thus forever changing native aquatic systems by modifying the 22 INQUIRY: DOES FEEDING BY SEA URCHINS LIMIT SEAWEED DISTRIBUTION?

W. J. Fletcher of the University of Sydney, Australia reasoned that if sea urchins are a limiting biotic factor in a particular ecosystem, then more seaweeds should invade an area from which sea urchins have been removed. 23 INQUIRY: DOES FEEDING BY SEA URCHINS LIMIT SEAWEED DISTRIBUTION? Seems reasonable and a tad obvious, but the

area is also occupied by seaweed-eating mollusc called limpets. What to do? Formulate an experimental design aimed at answering the inquiry question. 24 PREDATOR REMOVAL 25

PREDATOR REMOVAL Removing both limpets and urchins or removing only urchins increased seaweed cover dramatically 26

PREDATOR REMOVAL Almost no seaweed grew in areas where both urchins and limpets were present (red line) , OR where only


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