Interactions and relationships among organisms and their environment. This includes biotic and abiotic (non-living/environmental) factors that impact organisms.

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Coniferous trees in temperare rain forests

In temperate rainforest, the dominant plant form is often coniferous trees (source). However, coniferous trees are also the dominant plant form in a very different climate and form a different biome ...
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28 views

What is the ratio of air to flesh inside a live clam's shell?

Is a live clam's shell completely filled with flesh or is there some air/water in it? If so how much water/air is there in comparison to flesh? I'm curious if the density of a clam changes through ...
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1answer
40 views

Deciduous trees in tropical rainforest

Some books says the dominant plant form in tropical rainforest biome is broad leaved evergreen trees. Other books say it is broad leaved evergreen trees and deciduous trees. What is the most accepted ...
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2answers
44 views

What is Environmental Robustness? Is it different from plasticity?

Hansen (2006) in his review uses the concept of environmental robustness independently of the other concepts of robustness (at pages 139 and 140) without defining ...
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32 views

Native vs Immigrant plants [closed]

Is this statement applicable to any known plant/region combinations? Plant species X, Y, and Z are truly indigenous to region R. Other "immigrant" species can be destroyed by drought or harsh ...
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1answer
34 views

Do plants have preference for the form of nitrogen as nutrient?

In the nitrogen cycle (ecology), it is usually described that plants can use nitrogen in the form of ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-). Do plants prefer one form of nitrogen over the other?
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1answer
20 views

Can plants directly use sulfuric acid?

In the explanation of the sulfur cycle, it is often said that sulfur moves from the atmosphere to the ground by acid rain in the form of sulfuric acid. Can plants directly use sulfuric acid to ...
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1answer
79 views

How big should the human population be, as predicted by body mass?

I would guess there is a theory in biology which states that the population size for a given species is inversely proportional to the body mass of individuals in that species. In other words, there ...
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1answer
17 views

Determining break/border of movement

A population given inhabiting an area. I can trace every individual and I've got the hypothesis there is a break in distribution like individuals born in the upper half of the area will rarely move to ...
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Can different strains of Rhizobium share an infection thread or symbiosome?

Rhizobium infection can be triggered at root hairs of legumes, creating infection threads. Can these infections threads be colonized by more than one type of Rhizobium (e.g. Fixing and non-fixing)? ...
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1answer
39 views

Why does dogs chase cats? [closed]

This seems a little weird to me.....Cat normally does not fit into a dog's food list....So why this peculiar, energy-wasting behaviour???
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3answers
105 views

Are there any known mutual symbiotic relationships that has more than two agents?

We are all familiar with the examples of symbiotic relationships in nature consisting of two agents, like lichen or the co-evolvement between certain birds and flowering plants. Do we know of any ...
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1answer
38 views

Confusion regarding niches in evolution theory

This is the definition of a niche from Crash Course: An area of the environment that requires a special set of skills or traits to extract food and reproduce. Obviously, this version of the ...
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1answer
47 views

Examples of genes involved in plastic responses

Adaptive plasticity involves sensing the environment and responding adaptively to it. Intuitively, I would think that this process may ask for a more or less complex genetic machinery of regulation of ...
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1answer
42 views

Do invasive species survive in the long run?

If an invasive species preys on native species, spreads widely and becomes dominant, should it not become extinct soon enough because of a lack of food?
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41 views

How many pandas should exist?

I have a degree in Biology so I'm a little embarassed that I never learned this, but... How do we know 1600 Pandas isn't enough? I know that we have historical numbers (although I couldn't find ...
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24 views

Using Canonical Correspondence Analysis on matrices with missing data

I have a matrix of sites where not all the environmental variables I want to assess were sampled. In other words, there are sites with the whole set of variables sampled, and there are other sites ...
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1answer
64 views

Can “human exclusion zones” in national parks for preserving Wolves and Grizzlies be a good idea?

There are National Preserves in the National Parks where some human activities are permitted. But can it make sense to create "exclusion zones" so no human would be permitted in a certain area, not ...
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3answers
51 views

Are there organisms that have incorporated plastic into their lives?

Are there organisms that have incorporated (manmade) plastic into their lives in any way? Either in their diet, or as a part of their body?
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1answer
100 views

Effects of selection on effective population size

Background The effective population size ($N_e$) is a central concept of evolutionary biology and is influenced by several parameters. For example: sex ratio bias affects $N_e$ $\left(N_e = ...
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2answers
39 views

About animal ecology and one view of this in science fiction

In the movie the Matrix Agent Smith said something like, 'all animals strive to find a natural 'equilibrium' with there environment ,... a harmonious existence with their ecosystem', ( forgive ...
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1answer
94 views

Which factors may affect a choice of an oviposition place in nocturnal moths?

Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) is a small brachypterous (females have stunned wings - unable to fly) moth which places eggs on thick branches. I would like to know which abiotic and biotic factors ...
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1answer
225 views

Would oxygen levels be stable without photosynthesis?

I learned how the CO$_2$ cycle works in several biology classes, high school, elementary school, geology, and physics. Then today there was an article published in the NY Times claiming: ...it is ...
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1answer
33 views

How long does it take for a hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) to reach sexual maturity?

How long does it take for a wild hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) to reach an age where they are reproductive? How does fecundity depend on age and size? I've looked at several hard clam life cycles ...
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2answers
65 views

Premise of life cycle synchronization between predator and prey

While reading about the predator satiation hypothesis of the periodical cicadas' 13/17 year life cycles, I started wondering about its premise. By the way, I understand the math behind the prime ...
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1answer
47 views

Why do pine stands exist?

I live in the midwestern United States. I cycle to work, sometimes on heavily wooded roads, and I can't help but notice that in most places within the surrounding deciduous forests Pine and evergreen ...
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1answer
59 views

Null distribution of Blomberg's K

I've noticed different functions in different R libraries have different ways of assessing significance for Blomberg's K. For instance, picante's phylosignal looks at a distribution of PIC variance ...
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69 views

Genetically modified Klebsiella Planticola nearly bulldozers plant life as we know it? [closed]

The article "The Bacterium That (Almost) Ate the World" by Elaine Ingham (see also here or here) describes a genetically modified bacterium that would break down cellulose plant matter into alcohol: ...
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1answer
83 views

Could habitat selection pattern be deformed in environment with low variability?

It is possible that strong (clearly visible) pattern of selection towards particular parameter is detectable only in environment with high variability (difference between used (red) and non-used ...
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1answer
175 views

Soft and Hard selection

Seems to me that these two sources (M. Whitlock, B. Wallace) use different definitions of soft and hard selection. M. Whitlock: Soft selection occurs when the relative fitness of an individual is ...
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75 views

Can human change its morphology or anatomy due to ecological changes?

According to Charles Darwin, as the surrounding environment changes, so changes the anatomy or morphology of a specific organism. But nowadays, humans have become very advanced in the technology and ...
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1answer
102 views

Are harmful gases abiotic or biotic factors in our environment?

As we all know, harmful gases play a negative role in our society and our environment. Are these gases playing as abiotic or biotic factors in our lives?
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24 views

How do climate and location affect the Pine Processionary moth?

I have statistics on the occurence of the Pine Processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa); we have the regions that are located in Algeria, infested area in percent, the defiliation degree (small, ...
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16 views

Classification of degree of infested areas by pine processionary moth on regions

I'm making a thesis about pine processionary moth distribution on the regions of algeria! i'm making tests about if there are spatial autocorrelation of this insects on the regions. and i'm doing ...
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1answer
24 views

Silene virginica Endangered in FL

Why is Silene virginica, colloquially known as Fire Pink, endangered in Florida? What factors besides human industrialization are affecting its survival there?
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57 views

What are the ecological effects of moderately high and prolonged concentrations of nitrogen deposition on an ecosystem?

There are many sources of nitrogen which eventually get deposited out of the atmosphere and onto the land/surface. Typically higher levels of nitrogen compounds are emitted near urban and roadway ...
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1answer
145 views

Is there an antagonistic association between Penicillium and Aspergillus?

Some Aspergillus species appear to like walnuts. My question concerns the association of Penicillium and Aspergillus. No sooner does Aspergillus colonize a walnut (or some other challenging carbon ...
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3answers
184 views

Why are there no tree-like plants that grow in lakes?

Looking at aerial photos of boreal forests, with dense woods clear-cut by quiet lakes, I wondered why exactly are the woods so clear-cut at the edge of water? Why won't trees develop adaptations that ...
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31 views

Why are fly not scared when landing on a monitor with changing graphics?

I have been wondering why would insects in general, not be scared when important changes happen on your monitor where they have landed... If you move even just a finger, they are scared to death and ...
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2answers
82 views

Why isn't phosphorus or nitrogen a limiting nutrient for animals?

Nitrogen and Phosphorus are usually the limiting nutrient for plants, especially for algae. Phosphorus is used for DNA, ATP and phospholipids, and Nitrogen is used for pretty much every protein a ...
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1answer
89 views

Two-fold cost of sex and r/K selection theory

This article cites a bunch of articles (I haven't been through them) that the effect of the two-fold cost of sex is "reduced" in stable environment or in K-selected environment. It says: [..] the ...
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1answer
368 views

How does a pine cone open?

When a pine cone is wet, it remains closed. However, when it's dry it opens again. From the perspective of physics or biomechanics, what is the mechanism that allows a pine cone to open and close as ...
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1answer
36 views

Metapopulation structure - book recommendations

What book would you recommend me to study: the dynamics of metapopulations, the structure of metapopulations, the evolution in structured metapopulations? I am not looking for an introduction ...
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3answers
371 views

Why are there ecosystems?

Why would things self-organize in such a manner? I'm a mathematician and I have no baggage in ecology or biology. If the question is too broad maybe someone can point me to formal sources where this ...
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2answers
49 views

What's the fastest legal way for the nutrients in a dead body to re-enter the ecosystem?

Apologies for weirdness. Of the various legal methods of disposing of a human corpse, which one ensures the nutrients which compose the body get back into the wider ecosystem the fastest? Unless ...
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1answer
216 views

Parasitism and mimicry

I was reading this article which states this: Classical Batesian mimicry, in which an undefended mimic evolves to look like a toxic model, is a parasitic relationship in which the mimic gains ...
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4answers
354 views

What prevents predator overpopulation?

I've often heard that a population, human or otherwise, will continue to grow as long as there is food available (assuming nothing else is killing them off). It makes sense: if you have food you can ...
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1answer
82 views

Chaos theory and population cycles

I have just begun to read about Chaos theory and have come across the statement that "Period three implies chaos." My question: Does any odd period imply chaos or only 3? If so, how can populations ...
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1answer
110 views

Why Can Varied Species Live Together in Particular Ecosystems?

Consider the following question: The Piney Woods of Eastern Texas is home to a wide variety of organisms ranging from the grass Longleaf Oats to coyotes. Which of the following best explains why ...
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1answer
68 views

Why do hummingbirds build nests with live ferns instead of dead materials?

Hummingbirds prefer to build their nests with spore-bearing ferns, and mosses. This is helpful for the reproduction of the ferns, which are then better able to spread their seeds. But how is this ...