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

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160 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 ...
-2
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0answers
19 views

Plankton growth as a function of temperature [on hold]

I have a data set like folow Time-Temperature(0C)-Species_1(individuals) 01-T1-S1 02-T2-S2 n-Tn-Sn Now I want to caculate growth of species_1 as a fuction of temperature. How I can do that from the ...
4
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2answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
915 views

Could we slow down life? [closed]

As far as I know there is no absolute time measurement (one that would measure time in a non-environment-dependent fashion) in any life form. Only such time measurements exist, which are dependent ...
13
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0answers
133 views

Was the recent “conservation hunt” of a black rhino supported by science?

CNN recently covered a sanctioned black rhino hunt in Namibia by Texan Corey Knowlton, who bid US$350,000 for the license. In the story, he claims that the hunt was actually supporting conservation of ...
5
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1answer
41 views
6
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0answers
33 views

What bacteria shed harvestable energy from root zone organic matter?

I recently heard of a successful effort that harvests energy from soil at plants' bases due to apparently bacterial breakdown of wastes from the plants: Via photosynthesis a plant produces organic ...
2
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1answer
40 views

How can omnivores be in more than one trophic level?

I'm learning about the ecosystem and its relation to organisms, So organisms in a food chain can be put from producers to tertiary organisms. I just don't get the part where an organism can be labeled ...
6
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1answer
59 views

Viruses selected by evolution

First let me apologize in advance for I know almost nothing about biology. I had a conversation today with a family member who is a bio-computer-scientist and he talked to me about what his colleagues ...
1
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1answer
408 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: ...
2
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2answers
49 views

Does the biosphere have infinite resources and are they infinitely renewable?

Does biomass represent all of the resources of the biosphere and therefore it would be theoretically infinitely renewable (as long as we have the sun) since all the biomass is part of the carbon ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Are Humans Considered Keystone species? [closed]

Do humans have a huge impact on the ecosystem ? is it possible for other animals to live without us ?
0
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1answer
54 views

Advantages of gregarious vs solitary behaviour?

I'm trying to explain why birds (specifically wildfowl) are gregarious during the winter and solitary during the summer. I think that in winter, birds are gregarious to reduce the risk of predation ...
1
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2answers
35 views

How does ecology differ from biology?

What precisely is ecology? How does it differ from biology? Because I never studied biology after high school, please explain as if I were 10 years old. I only know that ecology is a subset of biology ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

How to seek for available genetic data relevant to ecology and evolution?

I had a quick look online. There seems to exist many different website of database archiving. Some data might be free of charge while some others might not be. I found things such as Dryad, TreeBase, ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

What does the energy in an energy pyramid represent?

Suppose the energy at the second trophic level as given in an energy pyramid is 100 kcal per square metre. It could mean either of the two following things: 100 kcal is the energy this primary ...
1
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0answers
22 views

planting conifers in a sagebrush area [closed]

I'm looking at buying some property in the picture below. You can see the conifers (mainly Jefferson Pine and Lodgepole Pine) as the dark green dots on the outside frame. The intersecting line (top to ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

How far in can non-extremophiles live, in Earth?

I am a high school student. I'm doing a project where I need to find a planet in our galaxy that might be habitable. Then I need to create an organism that could live on that planet and justify ...
8
votes
3answers
79 views

What triggers the migration of robins?

I live in central Massachusetts, and have begun seeing robins, as we generally do in early March. The temperature is well below normal, though, and three feet of snow are covering the still-frozen ...
0
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0answers
15 views

What light conditions facilitate communication between birds with black and white plumage?

I'm studying two populations of birds: Population A and Population B Population A has a small white patch on its neck. Population B has a large white patch on its neck. See attached diagram. It is ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Literature that demonstrates organisms have a competitive advantage in numbers

I'm studying two bird populations that are competing against each other for a resource: Population A and Population B. Population A is present in much higher numbers than Population B, and as a ...
6
votes
2answers
76 views

What is the mechanism behind plants losing their leaves? [duplicate]

Do plants that lose their leaves (i.e., deciduous plants) do so because of external conditions (e.g., drought, cold), or because of an internal process? Another way of looking at it: if you take a ...
1
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0answers
36 views

Selection Pressure on Orca Whale Coloration

What is the proposed selection pressure that leads to the distinctive coloration of Orca whales? I can find nothing in the literature.
3
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1answer
63 views

Reconstruction of wildlife distribution based on poorly-sampled data [closed]

cross-posted to Signal Processing, Cross Validated, and World Building Stack Exchange Hi, I thought I'd also put this here in case there are any field biologists with ideas on the matter. Problem: ...
5
votes
2answers
72 views

What happens during kefir fermentation process?

I’ve found many sources about the positive effects of kefir for the digestive system. However I haven’t found any information about the fermenting process. What is the exact biology (chemistry?) ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

(Why) are polar bears more common in Labrador than in southern Greenland?

The Labrador Sea is between Greenland, Labrador, and Qikiqtaaluk: Map source. A Greenlandic source on polar bears states: In Greenland the polar bear lives and breeds in the northernmost parts ...
9
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Chaos theory and population cycles of odd periodicity

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
61 views

How does the ideal free distribution work?

I have recently completed a study on Brent Goose. I found that Brent Geese occupy high quality habitat first then once this is full of geese, they fill up low quality habitat. However, there were ...
4
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2answers
100 views

What is called the “area size that an animal usually lives in”?

What is called the "area size that an animal usually lives in" or "needs for a normal life"? Is there any specific term?
4
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3answers
138 views

Why are the fertility rates of large predators kept low?

Predators at the top of a food chain, like lions, seem to have a relatively low fertility rate, which fits well to the ecosystem and avoids overpredation. But what is the mechanism that keeps the ...
4
votes
2answers
105 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 ...
9
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4answers
619 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 ...
4
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1answer
76 views

Why do the proportion of predators increase at mass extinction events?

Why does predation surge with mass extinction? It is caused by extreme selective pressures over resource competition that forces certain species to adapt to predatory niches?
3
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1answer
50 views

What fish (and/or shellfish) species with a multi-year life-cycle, besides salmon, die after spawning?

Most species of salmon die after spawning. Are there any other types of fish that spawn once and then die after a multi-year life-cylce? Is this a rare life history strategy among our human exploited ...
12
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1answer
149 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

How can we calculate the minimum sustainable number of the panda population?

I have a degree in Biology so I'm a little embarrassed 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Almost philosophical question about controlling a pest/plague

Once in a math congress someone presented a paper on a mathematical model used to predict the impact of certain measures that could be taken in order to control some pest/plague. A guy in the audience ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

In a typical population, what might the percentage of plants be to predators and everything inbetween?

I'm not sure if this will be a simple question that is almost a natural law for an ecologist, or a complex serious of assumptions. I vaguely remember from school that only 10% of the energy is ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Are there any viruses that are part of all land animals?

An article on I Fucking Love Science (linked to below) got me thinking, are there any viruses that have been so successful that they have spread to all land animals similar to Toxoplasmosis which has ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
29 views

Is there a risk of localised die-off when plants bud too early?

I've been taking a few walks in the countryside in Scotland and England this winter (end of December 2014). Some parts of England haven't had any frosts yet, which is very unusual, and it's been ...
2
votes
1answer
67 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
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1answer
229 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 ...
5
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2answers
91 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 ...
2
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0answers
35 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
67 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?
4
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
32 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 ...
5
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1answer
71 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 ...