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

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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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57 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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54 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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20 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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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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48 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
80 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
120 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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24 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
50 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
46 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
80 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
31 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
341 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
46 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
170 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
182 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
66 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
64 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
63 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 ...
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1answer
46 views

Calculating photosynthetic efficiency

While calculating photosynthetic efficiency, do we take into account the Gross Primary Production or the Net Primary Production ?
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3answers
191 views

Is there a hypothesis that attempts to explain patterns of species richness along all three energy-related environmental gradients?

My question is related to one of the oldest question in ecology: "What determines global patterns of species richness?". However, I want to focus on one particular part of this question, which has ...
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1answer
237 views

Question regarding Rate of Photosynthesis AP Biology Lab

We are doing a lab on the effects of light intensity/wavelength on the rate of photosynthesis in AP bio and we were asked to visit this website here: ...
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1answer
65 views

Are these bat social calls?

I'm currently researching bat social calls (not echolocation calls) and have been given a series of samples (in .wav format) and wanted to know, if what I can hear is actually the social calls. Below ...
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1answer
54 views

How much cost would artificial pollination add to common products (fruits etc.)?

I've read about ecosystem services and their possible valuation - statements like "honeybee pollination service in the US is worth 1.6 billion dollars". Is data available on how this would affect the ...
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38 views

Speciation and Phylogeny of Lactobacillus

The lactobacillus, also called Döderlein's bacillus is a genus of facultative aerobic bacteria. There are several species such as Lactobacillus acidophillus and Lactobacillus reuteri. I have several ...
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1answer
47 views

Determining limiting nutrients from a graph

The question was Which of the following statements is supported by these data? A. Phosphorus was the first limiting nutrient followed by nitrogen. B. Nitrogen was the first limiting nutrient ...
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2answers
193 views

Can humans transdermally absorb minerals from ocean water, and if so how much?

According to several studies quoted here, chemicals can be absorbed by the skin transdermally, at least under certain conditions. When it comes to elements in seawater like sodium, magnesium, ...
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1answer
93 views

What are the visual, behavioral similarities and differences between Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus)?

The Tiger and Yellow Fever Mosquito visually look very similar. Recognizing the difference is important for tracking and controlling the spread of Yellow Fever, Dengue fever and other diseases. ...
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1answer
81 views

Has Colony Collapse Disorder (or its equivalent) been noted in other species?

Colony Collapse Disorder is a well studied phenomenon relating to the decline of bee populations - has this disorder, or its equivalent, been observed in other colony-based species?
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1answer
86 views

Body size, what are the evolutionary trade-offs?

Background Considering just the "Kingdom Animalia" branch of organisms. It is clear that bigger does not necessarily mean better - there is large variation in body size... From the 94 µm long ...
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2answers
95 views

Interdependency between organsims on our planet and its relation to ecosystem?

I am not a biologist but I just wonder if all species are interdependent. I mean if the tiger becomes extinct does it affect the ecosystem? If the mosquito or mouse become extinct does it affect the ...
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1answer
101 views

Natural enemies boost deep evolutionary fitness?

"Two species that reduce one another's fitness on microevolutionary (short-term) timescales can increase each other's macroevolutionary (long-term) fitness" Opinions? Intuitive Examples: ...
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2answers
433 views

Definition of “Niche Complementarity”

What does "Niche Complementarity" means? On this website they define "Niche Complementarity" as: The tendency for coexisting species which occupy a similar position along one niche dimension ...
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11 views

Gas sampling, in need of large septums

I'm designing an experiment that will require many gas samples taken from sealed pipes with a 1" (2.54 cm) diameter. I have been searching for large septums but have had no luck in finding a size ...
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1answer
76 views

How do I compare the variance of a distribution of species in one area versus another?

It's possible that this question is better suited for stack overflow, but I think the ecologists on this site might be better equipped to answer it. I'm trying to study two geographically-isolated ...
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1answer
63 views

Niche overlap Index

I wanted to use the compana() function from the adehabitat package. I don't really understand the meaning of the data in the ...
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1answer
80 views

Standardized Selection Ratio (SSR)

In this article the athors used the Standardized Selection Ratio (SSR) in order to infer what is the preferred host (anemone) of anemonefish. Here is a quotation coming from their methods: ...
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1answer
134 views

Definitions and examples of some math-releated ecology branches

I would like to have an example of application and a brief description/definition (two or three lines) of the following fields. I would like to understand the exact differences between them. Other ...
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1answer
353 views

Index of ecological niche overlap

For this question I am interested in the Pianka's Index of ecological niche overlap. What is the Pianka's Index? How does it work? How can one calculate this index? How often is it used? In what ...
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2answers
92 views

Which statement about phenotypic plasticity is false?

This was a test question, and I'm not too sure about the answer. Which statement about phenotypic plasticity is false? a. Because the plasticity of a phenotypic trait may be costly to maintain, it ...
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1answer
57 views

Generalism - specialism index in microbial ecology

I am doing research in Lipid metabolism in different yeast species and I would like to look into ecology of them. I would like to classify them to a Generalist/specialist based on different ...
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39 views

Shortest route for a Nitrogen atom from fossil fuel to a protein in your body?

Millions of years ago fossil fuels originated from plants. A nitrogen atom from fossil fuel is now inside in a protein molecule in your body. What is the shortest path that the nitrogen atom ...
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74 views

Energy flow: productivity, intake, assimilation, feces, etc

What are the mistakes in here? ...
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71 views

Energy flow in an ecosystem

What are the mistakes in here? The image below shows a part of the energy flow diagram in an ecosystem. 1. Part P of the biomass of the primary producers does not get consumed. Give a concrete ...
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1answer
51 views

How do you estimate global species richness?

I know how estimates of species richness in a small area are made. But how do you estimate the total number of species on a global scale? One example of such a method can be found in Mora et al. ...
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55 views

Competition for mates in sea horses

This source here ...research has shown that it is STILL the males that compete for females. says that male sea horses compete for mates but this source here Females exhibit a ...
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4answers
211 views

If I built a concrete pool, would it ever contain fish?

Imagine that I built a concrete-walled pool the size of a football field and filled it with fresh water - obtained from another lake but free of bacteria, plantlife, eggs, etc. Would it ever, over ...
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1answer
91 views

Is there a website that shows population sizes?

I'm looking for a website that shows the population sizes of a species (doesn't matter which) as a function of time at a geographic coordinate. Is there a government website or other free database ...
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2answers
277 views

Survivorship Curves: Type II curve mortality rate is not constant?

In graphs of survivorship curves, I'm seeing that the Type II curves are straight lines, and the supplementary text says that the mortality rate is constant (i.e. the slope of the line is constant). ...