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

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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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2answers
303 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 ...
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208 views

Is there a good field methods book that covers terrestrial ecology?

In the past I have used Limnological Analysis by Wetzel and Likens and Methods in Stream Ecology edited by Hauer and Lamberti to develop labs and research methods for courses and projects with an ...
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3answers
122 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 ...
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112 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 ...
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65 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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408 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 ...
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54 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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97 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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294 views

Why is the floral biodiversity of grazed grassland higher than that of mown grassland?

I have collected some data to compare the biodiversity of a field in which the plagioclimax is maintained by machine mowing with a field in which the plagioclimax is maintained by sheep grazing. What ...
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87 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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72 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 ...
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64 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?
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27 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 ...
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132 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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1answer
114 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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60 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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1answer
102 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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61 views

Does preservation in ethanol alter leaf litter mass?

I have benthic samples that were collected with an Ekman dredge from some small ponds. The samples contain quite a bit of coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM, basically dead leaves). I would ...
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2answers
105 views

How would ecology be affected if 100km² of an ocean surface was covered by a floating object?

Assume that we planted floating solar cells on the ocean surfaces. Assume a 100km² solar cell field in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. All of the sunlight will be blocked by them. How would that ...
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242 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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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 ...
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1answer
160 views

Statement about Tropical Rainforests

I made a statement about tropical rainforests, and I want to know if it's somewhat true or not: The soil in tropical rainforests is not exceptionally fertile, because it contains few minerals. The ...
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52 views

Are there inherent problems in simulating marine environments, as compared to terrestrial systems?

We cultivate a number of terrestrial organisms in greenhouses and stables where they live in completely artificial environments. This seems to extend far less to marine organisms, such as fish. ...
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100 views

How do susceptible organisms prevent parasites from overcoming resistance?

Bt corn is genetically modified to kill borers, but "regulations require farmers to plant conventional varieties as well, which is intended to stop the borers becoming resistant." -Source How do ...
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49 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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79 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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441 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). ...
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1answer
59 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: ...
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43 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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377 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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737 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
778 views

Does finite rate of increase depend on mortality of individuals in a population?

As written in my lecture handouts, there two main factors in the Geometric Growth Model of populations: $R_{0}$ is the expected lifetime reproductive output. This way, for unicellulars, for example, ...
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54 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 ...
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76 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 ...
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0answers
51 views

Help with designing the analysis of radio telemetry study [closed]

I was wondering if there are any spatial ecologists out there who can provide some insight on the trouble I'm having with my Masters research. I am looking at the association a bat species to high ...
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3answers
59 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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127 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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105 views

Will climate change affect flower population?

There is a flower population elevated 1000 meters above sea level. If climate change causes a 12⁰C increase in temperature over the next 10 years, what will happen to the flowers?
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1answer
53 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 ...
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1answer
37 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 ...
2
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1answer
113 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
73 views

What causes tree lines?

There is an area of where there is a distinct line of only trees on one side and only shrubs on the other (right next to each other). What could cause this? My attempt: I said there could be a ...
2
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1answer
57 views

What type of biome is this?

There is a region that gets about 812mm of precipitation and is mildly hot all year long. I believe this region is a tropical savanna, but I'm not 100% sure. Is this correct?
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1answer
28 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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2answers
111 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 ...
2
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1answer
63 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 ...
2
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1answer
263 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
52 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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1answer
89 views

What does self-preservation stem from? [closed]

Self-preservation, or preservation anyway, probably happens throughout the animal kingdom, and perhaps through the plant kingdom as well (some plants/trees, apparently, produce chemicals to repel ...