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

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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 ...
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43 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 ...
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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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74 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 ...
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745 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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316 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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51 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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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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56 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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274 views

Energy flow in an ecosystem

What are the mistakes in here? The image below shows a part of the energy flow diagram in an ecosystem. 1. Part P of the biomass of the primary producers does not get consumed. Give a concrete ...
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22 views

Determining break/border of movement

A population given inhabiting an area. I can trace every individual and I've got the hypothesis there is a break in distribution like individuals born in the upper half of the area will rarely move to ...
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Classification of degree of infested areas by pine processionary moth on regions

I'm making a thesis about pine processionary moth distribution on the regions of algeria! i'm making tests about if there are spatial autocorrelation of this insects on the regions. and i'm doing ...
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Can different strains of Rhizobium share an infection thread or symbiosome?

Rhizobium infection can be triggered at root hairs of legumes, creating infection threads. Can these infections threads be colonized by more than one type of Rhizobium (e.g. Fixing and non-fixing)? ...
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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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537 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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262 views

Are there any known mutual symbiotic relationships that has more than two agents?

We are all familiar with the examples of symbiotic relationships in nature consisting of two agents, like lichen or the co-evolvement between certain birds and flowering plants. Do we know of any ...
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71 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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83 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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122 views

Vaccination and population dynamics of an epidemic

I'm trying to figure out how should a vaccination model be built to correlate with population density, and I'm having problems to understand meanings of the results I receive when I apply theory on ...
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6k views

How will rising carbon dioxide levels in the troposphere affect photosynthetic producers?

Much discussion has been had about the affects of climate change on plantlife, but how will rising carbon dioxide concentrations affect the photosynthetic process itself? Since CO₂ is a reagent in ...
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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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106 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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48 views

About animal ecology and one view of this in science fiction

In the movie the Matrix Agent Smith said something like, 'all animals strive to find a natural 'equilibrium' with there environment ,... a harmonious existence with their ecosystem', ( forgive ...
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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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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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431 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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98 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 ...
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406 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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99 views

What controls the southern range of willows?

Many willows (Salix spp.) grow in northern states but do not grow in southern states, for example Salix viminalis. What mechanisms control the southern range of temperate hardwoods such as willow? Is ...
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839 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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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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1answer
195 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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What are the ecological effects of moderately high and prolonged concentrations of nitrogen deposition on an ecosystem?

There are many sources of nitrogen which eventually get deposited out of the atmosphere and onto the land/surface. Typically higher levels of nitrogen compounds are emitted near urban and roadway ...
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95 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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Can human change its morphology or anatomy due to ecological changes?

According to Charles Darwin, as the surrounding environment changes, so changes the anatomy or morphology of a specific organism. But nowadays, humans have become very advanced in the technology and ...
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306 views

Are harmful gases abiotic or biotic factors in our environment?

As we all know, harmful gases play a negative role in our society and our environment. Are these gases playing as abiotic or biotic factors in our lives?
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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, ...
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1answer
29 views

Silene virginica Endangered in FL

Why is Silene virginica, colloquially known as Fire Pink, endangered in Florida? What factors besides human industrialization are affecting its survival there?
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Metapopulation structure - book recommendations

What book would you recommend me to study: the dynamics of metapopulations, the structure of metapopulations, the evolution in structured metapopulations? I am not looking for an introduction ...
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2answers
396 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 ...
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3k 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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156 views

Does artificial high intensity light damage permanently dark ecosystems?

Popular science features on wildlife typically capture camera images using natural light, or high-speed exposures. This is not possible where the ambient light is extremely poor. E.g. Caves, Undersea ...
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406 views

Why are there ecosystems?

Why would things self-organize in such a manner? I'm a mathematician and I have no baggage in ecology or biology. If the question is too broad maybe someone can point me to formal sources where this ...
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2answers
71 views

What's the fastest legal way for the nutrients in a dead body to re-enter the ecosystem?

Apologies for weirdness. Of the various legal methods of disposing of a human corpse, which one ensures the nutrients which compose the body get back into the wider ecosystem the fastest? Unless ...
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99 views

Has Colony Collapse Disorder (or its equivalent) been noted in other species?

Colony Collapse Disorder is a well studied phenomenon relating to the decline of bee populations - has this disorder, or its equivalent, been observed in other colony-based species?
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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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321 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 ...
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267 views

Calculating photosynthetic efficiency

While calculating photosynthetic efficiency, do we take into account the Gross Primary Production or the Net Primary Production ?