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

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24
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309 views

How do biological communities at deep-ocean hydrothermal vents migrate between vents?

Much interest in the astrobiology community has been generated by the discovery of biological communities populating deep-ocean hydrothermal vents (i.e. "black smokers"). (1) These ecosystems rely on ...
17
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2answers
341 views

Smallest viable reproducing population

What is the smallest viable reproducing population, such as in a human population. By viable I mean a population which keeps genetic defects low (enough). A very strongly related question: what is ...
13
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2answers
3k 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 ...
12
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3answers
208 views

When are population dynamics models useful?

When are population dynamics models useful? There seems to have been a lot of research about it, but how does it help? If I need data about how a population will evolve under what conditions, I need ...
11
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3answers
232 views

Most suitable biodiversity index

I am conducting an investigation into the effect of two different grass management techniques (grazing vs. machine-mowing) upon floral biodiversity. I have collected my data and now need to process ...
9
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1answer
83 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 ...
9
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1answer
648 views

How does population stability evolve?

The number of individuals constituting a population is called population size. Over time population size does not remain constant, it fluctuates to different extent over generations because of ...
8
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3answers
207 views

Can elements of one's environment act directly as hormones?

Can pollution and things in an organism's environment serve as hormones?
8
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1answer
807 views

Why are some berries poisonous?

In my understanding, the evolutional function of berries is to be eaten and pood out somewhere else, so that the seeds of the plant spread. Is this so? Then why are some berries poisonous?
8
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2answers
99 views

Where can I find historical data on world-wide ecology parameters?

I hope this is the right StackExchange forum for such a question. I'm looking for large data sets on world-wide ecology parameters, such as annual temperatures by latitude, annual rainfall, CO₂ and ...
8
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1answer
114 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 ...
7
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1answer
75 views

Is there a standard format for plant community composition data?

FIA has a nice database of forest Inventory data, this would be great except that it does not seem capable of handling data from non-tree species (e.g., grasslands, wetlands). Is there a standard ...
7
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1answer
108 views

Do invasive species cause long-term damage to ecosystems they invade?

Growing up in the U.S., I was warned at various times of the dire consequences of a variety of introduced pests (usually insects). Japanese beetles, gypsy moths, and most recently the brown ...
7
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2answers
129 views

Can allelopathy succesfully be used against algal blooms?

Algal blooms caused by man (harmful algal blooms) are a major ecological problem. An excessive amount of algae causes hypoxia and logically, most marine wildlife can't be sustained in hypoxic ...
7
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1answer
189 views

Compare and contrast “Rubisco activity” and “assimilation rate” (is there a difference, and if so, what is it)?

I am confused about the variable "RuBisCO activity". How is it measured, and is it any different from the net assimilation rate? Based on some background reading (e.g. Kling, 2008; Lambers et al ...
6
votes
4answers
197 views

If I built a concrete pool, would it ever contain fish?

Imagine that I built a concrete-walled pool the size of a football field and filled it with fresh water - obtained from another lake but free of bacteria, plantlife, eggs, etc. Would it ever, over ...
6
votes
3answers
135 views

Is there a hypothesis that attempts to explain patterns of species richness along all three energy-related environmental gradients?

My question is related to one of the oldest question in ecology: "What determines global patterns of species richness?". However, I want to focus on one particular part of this question, which has ...
6
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1answer
88 views

Is there a website that shows population sizes?

I'm looking for a website that shows the population sizes of a species (doesn't matter which) as a function of time at a geographic coordinate. Is there a government website or other free database ...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

Can I compare Shannon indices of metagenome gene data?

I'm comparing 12 Metagenomes. I'm using HMM counts of a number of proteins known to exists as groups within certain operons. I have grouped the HMM counts for each type of operon and calculated the ...
6
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2answers
106 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 ...
6
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1answer
79 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?
6
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1answer
120 views

Can jellyfish improve Black Sea environment?

According to this study, cited by many popular science magazines, jellyfish and other, smaller animals can contribute to the vertical ocean stir as much as currents do. Black Sea chemistry and ...
5
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3answers
313 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
122 views

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.
5
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3answers
93 views

What prevents predator overpopulation?

I've often heard that a population, human or otherwise, will continue to grow as long as there is food available (assuming nothing else is killing them off). It makes sense: if you have food you can ...
5
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2answers
120 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 ...
5
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2answers
142 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

Definitions and examples of some math-releated ecology branches

I would like to have an example of application and a brief description/definition (two or three lines) of the following fields. I would like to understand the exact differences between them. Other ...
5
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1answer
195 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 ...
4
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2answers
147 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 ...
4
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1answer
51 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 ...
4
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2answers
245 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 ...
4
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2answers
187 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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
votes
1answer
56 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
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
4
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0answers
45 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
votes
2answers
96 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
137 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
119 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
votes
1answer
60 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
votes
1answer
741 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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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
votes
1answer
91 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
votes
2answers
265 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
votes
2answers
488 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
votes
0answers
33 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
67 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 ...
3
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0answers
46 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 ...