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

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Does the entire surface of the earth contain organisms?

Does the entire surface of the earth contain organisms? My teacher mentioned that in some parts of the earth, there aren't any organism. Is this true? Thanks in advance.
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539 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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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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99 views

How do animals end up in remote areas?

I was thinking specifically about random marshy water holes on farmers fields. It seems that you can visit just about any one of these and you will find frogs if you look hard enough. They usually ...
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292 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?) ...
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41 views

Are there any animals that gradually approaches the predator to search for food?

I was wondering if there is an animal (or insect, bird, etc.) that eventually comes close to its predator to search for food, but only does so if it couldn't find food in the environment it is in. So ...
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197 views

Difference between biological control and introducing species for conservation?

I have a biology assignment and we have to explain various methods and strategies for conservation, two of which are: Biological control Introduced Species What is the difference between ...
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435 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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144 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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595 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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129 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 ...
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105 views

Are there known minimal marine ecosystems that are stable?

A more entertaining phrasing of the question would be "what would a marine ecologist put into a perfect aquarium?" I was reading about Prochlorococcus, among other photoautotrophs, and found that ...
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332 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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94 views

Why do some trees in California have dead brown leaves but also new green leaves?

It's Autumn 2015, and I just saw a tree that had mainly dead brown leaves but also some new small green leaves growing. Why didn't the tree just keep its old leaves? Does it think we are in spring ...
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138 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 ...
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159 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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84 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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124 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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80 views

Evolution of spider webs?

Web making seems like a fairly complex behavior built from a pretty strong material. So how exactly did it evolve? Do we have any clues about what kind of features/behaviors preceded web making and ...
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91 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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127 views

The replicator equation vs the Lotka-Volterra equation

Background The replicator equation with $n$ strategies is given by the differential equation: \begin{equation} \dot x_{i} = x_{i} \left( \sum_{j=1}^{n} a_{ij}x_{j} - \phi \right) \qquad i = 1, ...
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156 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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36 views

Is high metabolism linked to high evolutionary turnover?

I recently read The Dinosaur Heresies by Robert T. Bakker, a 1986 popular science book presenting arguments for an active lifestyle and high metabolic rate in dinosaurs. One of the arguments that ...
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175 views

What are the branches of system ecology?

What are the branches of system ecology that scientists research in nowadays? Or what can system ecology can applied to, or be used? I have read its Wikipedia page, but sadly it doesn't answer my ...
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271 views

How did zootoxins evolve?

I've always wondered how toxins in certain organisms have evolved. Particularly, organisms that produce toxins as a deterrent to predators as opposed to organisms that use it to paralyze their prey. ...
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215 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?
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949 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 ...
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317 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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419 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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255 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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77 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 ...
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238 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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1answer
142 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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88 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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210 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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43 views

Length of dispersal flight of European spruce bark beetle?

I'm interested in length of dispersal flight of Ips typographus. I can barely find some information about dispersal distances, height of dispersal flight, but not at all information about how many ...
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103 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
83 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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63 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, ...
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117 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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31 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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409 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
66 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
112 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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84 views

How to gather life-history traits data on bird species?

I am looking for a data base of life history traits for bird species. Is there such data base? If not, what are your advice on how to collect those data? Is there a handy website that list ...
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96 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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110 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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99 views

Do reptiles hunt?

I encountered the following passage in the book The Art of Interactive Design by Criss Crawford (bold formatting is mine): [...] From stalking and evasion to the chase, the [interaction between ...
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1answer
303 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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1answer
176 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 ...