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

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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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75 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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276 views

Are there any side-effects from a mosquitoes extinction?

Suppose that we have the ability to make mosquitoes extinct, what would the side-effect of such extinction be other than the fact that there won't be any mosquitoes left? Is it worth it to make ...
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75 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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78 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 ...
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117 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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89 views

Is it theoretically possible to restore the Tiger population to 100,000?

The current global Tiger population is roughly 5100 according to Wikipedia. With habitat destruction and poaching continuing and no effective improvement in conservation, most likely the Tiger ...
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123 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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931 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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262 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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336 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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1answer
2k 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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329 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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230 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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1answer
64 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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3answers
155 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
122 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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1answer
80 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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498 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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1answer
79 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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116 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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309 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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1answer
93 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
79 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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1answer
60 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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81 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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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 ...
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222 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
119 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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1answer
63 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
108 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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66 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
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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1answer
258 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
165 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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1answer
68 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 ...
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2answers
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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1answer
107 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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1answer
56 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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1answer
93 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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2answers
478 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
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: ...
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1answer
46 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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1answer
484 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 ...
3
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1answer
925 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
818 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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1answer
39 views

History: Do evolutionary and ecological processes occur at the same timescales?

Classically, it was thought that evolutionary processes occurred at a much slower pace than demographic/ecological processes. Nobody, ever thought about incorporating both processes into the same ...
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1answer
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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82 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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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 ...