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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
3answers
314 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
38 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
93 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
39 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
20 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Calculating photosynthetic efficiency

While calculating photosynthetic efficiency, do we take into account the Gross Primary Production or the Net Primary Production ?
6
votes
3answers
135 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
167 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: ...
1
vote
1answer
56 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
33 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
35 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
73 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
71 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
79 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?
0
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
77 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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: ...
1
vote
2answers
190 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
69 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
52 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
67 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: ...
5
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
200 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
84 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
35 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

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

What are the mistakes in here? ...
0
votes
0answers
56 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 ...
2
votes
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. ...
2
votes
0answers
44 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
197 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
265 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). ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

Could be an union/synergy between Math, Computer Science and Marine Biology?

I'm studing for my bachelor's degree in Natural Science and I have to chose the path for my future life. I have to chose the right kind of graduate studies. Since I love computer science, maths and ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

Mesophytic Climax community in succession?

My textbook says that in all cases of ecological succession (xerarch, hydrarch, etc.), the ultimate climax community, assuming constancy of environment, is a mesic community. Xeric or hydric pioneers ...
7
votes
1answer
108 views

Do invasive species cause long-term damage to ecosystems they invade?

Growing up in the U.S., I was warned at various times of the dire consequences of a variety of introduced pests (usually insects). Japanese beetles, gypsy moths, and most recently the brown ...
5
votes
2answers
142 views

Ecomorphs as evolutionary definitions

There have been demonstrations of ecomorphs in different taxa, where each morphology type is associated to a single environment. I know that it happens because special morphological characters ...
3
votes
1answer
743 views

Why do kefir grains stop growing in soy milk?

Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. It usually is prepared by inoculating cow, goat or sheep milk with kefir grains. I would like to prepare the drink with soy milk, which worked ...
6
votes
2answers
106 views

Is there theory that connects longevity, time-scale of environmental disturbance, and adaptation?

I'm thinking here about environmental disturbance or like climate change-driven warming. It seems as if there are two macroevolutionary ways to deal with environmental change: 1) Have short ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Change in conditions of an ecosystem lead to change in organisms

Let's think about the slash and burn method and its effects on the ecosystem. Cutting down trees that rise all the way up to the canopy would expose the plants at ground level to more light, so would ...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

Food Intake versus ability to flee among birds, particularly the hummingbird?

Logically speaking, if a hummingbird drinks too much nectar, it will be temporarily overweight and less able or unable to fly to escape danger. However if the same hummingbird doesn't drink enough ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

To what extent is immature eggs in insects (beetles) a good approximation for maximum fecundity?

To what extent is the number of immature eggs from dissected, newly emerged individuals a reasonable approximation for maximum/potential fecundity in insects (more specifically beetles)? I know that ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Are there precedents for considering that the coral reef biome has higher biodiversity than rain forests?

I've found conflicting references on which biomes are the most biodiverse ones. Also, which are the measures of biodiversity? Average number of different species per volume?
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Introductory text for primatology

I'm looking for a book that provides a good overview of primatology, one aimed more at researchers rather than a popular science book. Ideally, I'd like something with an ethology/ecology angle with ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

What controls the southern range of willows?

Many willows (Salix spp.) grow in northern states but do not grow in southern states, for example Salix viminalis. What mechanisms control the southern range of temperate hardwoods such as willow? Is ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

In which month should I map maritime vegetation?

I'm studying habitat use by Brent Goose in the UK, a species that feeds on maritime vegetation. It's main food types are Zostera sp., Ruppia sp., Ulva / Enteromorpha sp. and Puccinellia sp. I plan to ...