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

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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 ...
4
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1answer
83 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 ...
4
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1answer
59 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 ...
4
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1answer
108 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: ...
4
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1answer
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 ...
4
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1answer
94 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 ...
4
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0answers
59 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 ...
3
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2answers
102 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 ...
3
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1answer
216 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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2answers
2k 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 ...
3
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1answer
148 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 ...
3
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1answer
82 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 ...
3
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2answers
48 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. ...
3
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1answer
98 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 ...
3
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1answer
68 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 ...
3
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2answers
349 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). ...
3
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1answer
42 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?
3
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1answer
175 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
votes
1answer
552 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 ...
3
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1answer
64 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 ...
3
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2answers
670 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, ...
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 ...
3
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0answers
41 views

How many pandas should exist?

I have a degree in Biology so I'm a little embarassed 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 ...
3
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0answers
75 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 ...
2
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3answers
51 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?
2
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2answers
114 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 ...
2
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2answers
103 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?
2
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1answer
89 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
71 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
55 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?
2
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1answer
20 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 ...
2
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1answer
38 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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2answers
82 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
54 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
173 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. ...
2
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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
1answer
81 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 ...
2
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1answer
33 views

How long does it take for a hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) to reach sexual maturity?

How long does it take for a wild hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) to reach an age where they are reproductive? How does fecundity depend on age and size? I've looked at several hard clam life cycles ...
2
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1answer
110 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
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2answers
194 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 ...
2
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0answers
32 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 ...
2
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0answers
24 views

How do climate and location affect the Pine Processionary moth?

I have statistics on the occurence of the Pine Processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa); we have the regions that are located in Algeria, infested area in percent, the defiliation degree (small, ...
2
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0answers
32 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 ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Shortest route for a Nitrogen atom from fossil fuel to a protein in your body? [closed]

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 ...
2
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0answers
81 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 ...
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2answers
129 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 ...
1
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1answer
78 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 ...
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1answer
68 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 ...
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2answers
817 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 ...