Questions tagged [ecology]

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

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1answer
54 views

Do the organisms within a lichen communicate with each other?

So you've got your fungus and your algae (or cyanobacteria) (and the multitude of other variations and additions to this two-species symbiosis that lichens present). Do the species that comprise the ...
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1answer
39 views

Are there autotrophic fungi?

Are there any completely autotrophic species of fungus? If so, what species are they? What ecosystem do they live in? Some answers from Quora state that a fungus can never be autotrophic, but why is ...
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Can two populations of the same species pollinate during different times?

My question comes from the Barron's SAT Subject Test Practice Test #1 question 2 It states: Two populations of rhododendron, R. ferrugineum, grow in the same region of Connecticut. Although ...
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135 views

How much does biomagnification affect human beings?

It is known that the effect of biological magnification increases with higher trophic levels. Since, we are at the top of the food chain, how much are we affected by it? Is there any proof of humans ...
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Trophic levels and energy loss

Just a general question about trophic levels. Traditionally, it's thought as much as one order of magnitude of energy is lost as one moves from trophic level to trophic level. I am confused here since ...
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1answer
68 views

Is cannibalism part of mainstream food-chain?

There are some species who sometimes eat their own kinds. Is this cannibalism considered their regular food? Do the link in food-chain for those animals make a loop on themselves? Can this statement: ...
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What are the predators of Glaucus atlanticus?

I'm researching the Glaucus atlanticus, also known as the blue glaucus, among various other names, but after reading quite a few articles and searching on the Internet as many different ways as I can ...
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System diagrams showing biofeedback processes or interactions (- and + symbols) in ecosystems

Overview: I apologise profusely for asking a silly question, but I am feeling confused and I am seeking more clarity on this subject. Could anyone, please help me understand why the interaction ...
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What exactly is this small puffer fish doing and how did it manage to accomplish such a feat?

I recently saw a video on youtube where it shows a puffer fish making intricate designs in the sand: OZZY MAN VIDEO The puffer fish made this design on the sand: What exactly is the puffer ...
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Is spiders building webs on plants an example of mutualism or commensalism?

In one section of the GED study book I'm looking through to prepare myself for exams, they define parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism, and give examples. One of the examples they give for ...
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What does it mean for Caenorhabditis species to be “pseudoparasitic”?

In this Wormbook chapter, Kiontke says that some Caenorhabditis species live "pseudoparasitically" on warm-blooded animals. What does it mean? What is a pseudoparasite? I understand a parasite to be ...
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Does the preservation fluid (ethanol or formaldehyde) leach heavy metals from mollusc tissue?

In a thread on researchgate, the concern was raised that long term exposure to unbuffered preservation fluids such as ethanol or formaldehyde may leach heavy metals from biological samples due to a ...
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Inequality factor for similarity sensitive diversity

In a research article, Lou Jost has introduced the concept of inequality factor. The paper is "The relation between evenness and diversity", published in 2010. Inequality factor allows an intuitive ...
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1answer
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How do I determine this logistic growth model formula?

The Question Two yeast cells were placed into a special container to which food was continually added, to keep it at a constant concentration. All other factors were set for optimal yeast ...
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What is the outcome of the interaction between nectar-producing plants, aphids, ants, and natural enemies?

A lot of plants produce nectar, either floral nectar or extrafloral nectar. Extrafloral nectar is notably supposed to have evolved as an plant indirect defense mechanism, that allows attracting "...
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1answer
58 views

Measure of diversity, accounting for known species

I'm interested in measuring the diversity of each sample out of many independent samples. I know a priori all possible species that could appear in a sample, and expect the counts of species to be ...
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Are there parasitoids of mosquitoes ? (other than nematodes)

Outside of nematodes, are there any examples of organisms that are parasitoids of mosquitoes ? I could not find any example in literature so far. I'm notably interested to know if the most known ...
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Why does water stress lead to alkalinity of xylem sap in plants?

I was reading this book: Plant Physiology and Development, Sixth Edition by Lincoln Taiz, Eduardo Zeiger, Ian M. Møller, and Angus Murphy when this doubt came to my mind. Abscisic acid, the stress ...
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What's the lowest temperature a tardigrade can remain active at?

There's a lot of information floating around the net about how tough they are & what they can survive, like "We now know that some tardigrades can tolerate being frozen to -272.8 °C". But any ...
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What's the lowest atmospheric pressure a tardigrade can remain active in?

I'm not asking what atmospheric pressures they can survive (we now they can survive the vacuum of space) I'm wondering at what point a deficit of atmospheric pressure would cause them to enter one of ...
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What is the thickness of the biosphere?

In other words, what is the vertical distance between the deepest and highest point on Earth where life is found? Life has been discovered at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 13 km below sea level. ...
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1answer
130 views

What's the relationship between snail movement and rain?

I have a question about the relationship between snail and rain. A few days ago I found snail shells in a moist area and I brought them in for crafts work (I thought they were empty because snail ...
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Why is this spider wound in such a dense web?

I saw this thing yesterday on my window curtain, and I've been wondering what this is. It looks like a dense network of spider web, and the spider inside it is visible. I thought the spider was dead, ...
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Is there a record of species kept in zoos worldwide and number of individuals? If yes, can one have access to it?

Looking for the number and species of wild cats kept in zoos to assess the potential pool of individuals available for reintroduction programmes.
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Genes related to senses and their variation across animals

Animals often have very different numbers of active genes related to any sense. For instance, most fish or even aquatic mammals have very few olfactory receptor genes, whereas this is higher in ...
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Identifying a shrub with unusual “many shoots” growth behavior

While recently hiking in the southern mountains of New Hampshire, we came across a plant, and some of them were exhibiting what we interpreted to be a disease, or least unusual growth. On some of the ...
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1answer
115 views

Carbon sink and carbon storage

Articles commonly state examples of carbon sinks are plants, soils, and oceans (e.g., link). My understanding is that carbon sinks must directly take up carbon from the atmosphere. Therefore, other ...
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1answer
56 views

Examples of humans intentionally introducing non-native species where everything went well?

It's easy to find examples of humans introducing non-native species to solve some problem (e.g. for food, to control the population of a pest), but later regretting it as the introduced species upsets ...
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What accounts for the apparent lack of biodiversity in “bamboo forests”?

While hiking on the Hawaiian island of Maui, I passed from a forest with normal variety in trees and other flora, to a "bamboo forest" area in which the only plants that I could see were bamboo. This ...
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Does an old growth forest ecosystem produce more oxygen than it consumes?

I would like to consider an old growth forest ecosystem such as a large part of the Amazonian forest. It is common to refer to such beautiful forests as a source of oxygen for the world. For example, ...
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Devonian Fish Diversity--What Would it Have Looked Like?

For 70 million years, the oceans, lakes and rivers of the world teemed with seven groups of fish: Placodermi Acanthodii Agnatha Chondrichthyes Sarcopterygii Actinopterygii Now two of those ...
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Why don't acacia trees prefer increasing tannin levels in their leaves rather than leaving them high?

According to this article, the Acacia tree has a chemical defence system which leads to the release of ethylene in the surroundings when a herbivore grazes on it. This leads to an increase in tannin ...
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What do groundhogs and other subsurface-tunnel dwelling creatures do in heavy rains to avoid harm?

I notice groundhogs and many other tunneling creatures in my yard, the same yard which became pretty flooded during heavy rainfall. I don't see wildlife out during rain storms, but not long after, ...
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1answer
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White resin or powder on conifer needles

I often notice that certain conifers often have a whitish powder on what seems to be their youngest needles, giving them a blue green tint. Does anyone know what this is? Is it something excreted by ...
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2answers
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Book about ordination in ecology

This is a question I posted on Cross Validated few weeks ago but no response has been given so far. I am looking for a book that would cover a lot of different ordinations techniques (indirect ...
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How to quantify the strength of social bonding between the individuals of a colony? How to compare the strength of social bonding across the species?

Consider two different species of honey bees. If I have to compare the strength of social bonding between the two species i.e. in which species, social bonding between the individuals is stronger than ...
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1answer
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Addax in the Land of Israel

The Addax (Addax nasomaculatus) is critically endangered species of a desert anetelope with impressive long horns. Today there are small populations in the Sahara desert and the Arabian desert (Saudi ...
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When is Semelparous reproduction most likely to be favoured?

Under which of the following conditions is Semelparous reproduction (where organisms produces all its offspring in a single reproductive event) is most likely to be favoured? (A) Adult survival rate ...
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1answer
146 views

How is the Energy Systems Language used in ecology?

Is the Energy Systems Language useful in systems ecology? It is developed by Howard T. Odum, "the father of system ecology", to make analogies between ecological systems and electronic circuits. But ...
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2answers
113 views

Is it possible for a prey to become its main predator's predator?

This is actually for a worldbuilding project, but I thought I'd just ask it here as it is solely about biology. Anyway, would it be possible for a herbivore, let's call him X, that is predated by a ...
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Can a creature fly and also walk? [closed]

These creatures, fly and walk, and have perfect eyesight and follow me everywhere I go. They have many legs, they are about 1 inch and their color is almost translucent, but a very light shade of ...
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Does trapper/hunter harvest reflect abundance or community composition?

I'm working on a study where a single professional trapper removes furbearers and corvids (who the trapper is changes annually). I would suspect that the composition of the harvest would be strongly ...
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1answer
133 views

Why are there no endoparasitic mammals or reptiles or birds? [closed]

I am curious why there aren’t any endoparasitic mammals, reptiles or birds Endoparasite being a parasite that live In the host whereas ectoparasite lives On the host I hope this clears up confusion
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113 views

How are epiphytes symbiotic?

I understand epiphytes are not parasitic. But how exactly are they helping the tree on which they grow?
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Biological contamination from ground

I took samples of tapwater in order to examine concentrations of escherichia coli and enterococcus, in a rural area. I was told, by the analytical lab, to take samples in four sterilized vessels ...
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2answers
113 views

Why would a bumblebee regularly hover over a arborvitae hedge?

I have observed bumblebees hover over an a abrborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) hedge. A bumblebee will hover in a in one spot over the hedge for about 5-7 seconds, zip to another spot, hover for about 5-...
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Is there any standard of notation for ecological diagrams?

General Question Is there any convention of how to express different types of relations (e.g., eats, turns into, is beneficial to) and agents (e.g., species, nutrient) in an ecological diagram? I ...
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Is this answer about the limiting factor correct?

The graph shows the result of adding both phosphorus and nitrogen to different algae populations. I have a hard time figuring out why the correct answer is C, I thought that groups 4 and 5 would have ...
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Is there any example, where cooperative behaviour of predators induce fear in prey population?

I am basically from math background and doing Ph.D in mathematical biology. So I am not so efficient in biology. But my problem based on cooperative behaviour of animals during hunting which is ...
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Is the inhalation of ammonia a possible health problem for bats in an artificial small volume winter roost?

About 70 bats (Nyctalus noctula) spend their winter in an artificial small volume (0,050 cubic meters) winter roost located in the attic of a building. There is a single small exit to the outside ...