Questions tagged [ecology]

The study of the spatial and temporal patterns of the distribution and abundance of organisms, including causes and consequences (Scheiner, S.M. and Willig, M.R., 2008. A general theory of ecology. Theoretical Ecology, 1(1), pp.21-28. doi:10.1007/s12080-007-0002-0)

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Should soundscape ecology be a component of STEM education? [closed]

I'd like to see soundscape ecology be included in STEM education. I realize there is so much to teach and so little time, but think that primary and secondary students would be highly motivated and ...
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How long does an Audiomoth acoustic logger record for?

I'm wanting to record bat echolocation calls using an Audiomoth recorder. However, I can't find out anywhere how long these recorders can record for on a full charge. What is the longest duration ...
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Has anyone seen/read interspecies competition that is different at spatial scale for the same group of animals?

I work at a highly fragmented wildlife sanctuary in North Borneo, Malaysia. We have 8 species of hornbills here and from our observation they've grown to be less territorial in terms of where they ...
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Can we infer the orientation of a moose's head from the teeth patterns on tree trunks?

Background I am interested in studying the distribution and patterns of behaviour of moose (Alces alces). Moose chew bark off of the trunks of trees, especially Populus tremuloides. See some of the ...
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Are animal whiskers a useful monitoring tool?

I have come across studies that have used stable isotope values from seal/sea lion whiskers to infer foraging ecology. However, I am also aware that whiskers can fall off and then grow back. Is there ...
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Temporal space-use modeling - How can I quantify temporal variation into a single value without losing magnitude?

For my ecological research on the impacts of intensity of space-use on vegetation structure I need to quantify temporal variation in the intensity of space-use across years (resulting in a single ...
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Which anaerobic environments would exist without aerobic life?

All of the anaerobic environments I can think of are that way because a layer of aerobic life above them separates them from oxygen. If the aerobic life were removed, the anaerobic compartment would ...
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How does genetic feedback shape the evolution of whole ecosystems?

While looking into the organization of ecosystems and how evolution shapes it, I've been reading "Ecology" (1975) by Eugene Odum. In chapter 6, p. 167, Odum speaks about the mutualistic ...
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How do I explain "effective number of types" to a lay audience?

I know how to calculate effective number of types. I can't figure out how to explain it to an audience that has no ecology training or background. Suppose one has 12 (for example) groups, each with a ...
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Where to find morphometric data for fish?

I need data regarding the aspect ratio for caudal fins of different Elasmobranchii. It should be some easily retrievable information but apparently fishbase doesn't have this type of data for many ...
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Abilities used to survive against natural enemies: directional selection or frequency-dependent selection?

Regarding abilities used to survive predators and parasites, are they subjected more to directional selection or frequency-dependent selection? It's usually that host-parasite coevolution is ...
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What does genetic diversity in one species have to do with survival rate when an epidemic spreads?

I was studying about genes, and soon remembered that the more diverse the genetics of one species, the less the chance of the species to go extinct from natural disaster. One instance was an epidemic ...
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Can SARS-COV2 strain competition be modelled by inter-species lotka volterra equations?

Currently studying infectious diseases epidemiology and never studied ecology. But I was wondering if the interspecies Lotka Volterra equations could model and explain strain dominance. r = could be ...
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Population numbers in the presence of restricted resources

I wonder if the following simple system is considered in population dynamics, under which name, and in which textbooks. Consider a population $X$ (also indicating its number of individuals) with a ...
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What is harvest mortality and how is it calculated?

My background is not in biology, however for the work I'm currently doing, I am reading some papers in ecology and the term "harvest mortality" appears. I could not find the meaning of this ...
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the effect of aquatic photoautotrophs on CO2 concentration in the air

The CO2 concentration in the air is more strongly influenced by the northern hemisphere than the southern hemisphere. A given explanation is that the northern hemisphere contains more terrestrial ...
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Is there a way to use presence-absence data to inform a sampling design for a more specific survey?

I am currently in the process of designing a spatial survey to assess the abundance/density of woody debris across an ecosystem with multiple defined habitats (i.e. I am interested in not only the ...
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Does surface to volume ratio matter for cold-blooded species with regards to temperature?

While surface grows quadratically with scale, volume growth is cubic. Temperature exchange (gain and loss) of animals is mostly dependant on surface area (the more area, the faster) whereas heat ...
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does more biomass mean more energy?

I am a high school student and I am very confused about ecological pyramids. My textbook states that the biomass of zooplankton in an aquatic ecosystem is more than that of phytoplankton (I don't know ...
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How does stratified sampling work in a spatial ecology setting?

I am designing an experiment where I want to sample a region 5 different habitat types in order to compare density of "something" across them. The habitats have defined and differing sizes - ...
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Calibrating mechanistic species distribution models for plants

I am interested in plant ecology. I would like to model the dynamics of the distribution of a group of Alpine plant species on a certain mountain. Let us assume that the dynamics can be described by a ...
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Apply Shannon-Weiner index to evaluate single-cell sample balance?

I would like to identify single-cell clusters where each sample is evenly represented in it. Is it OK to calculate the Shannon-Weiner index from the sample counting data of each cluster? I am worrying ...
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What is the effect of an acidic solution on hydrolytic enzymes?

I'm working on a school research project and my research question is "What is the effect of increasing concentrations of Acid X on hydrolytic enzymes, measured through the loss of mass of leaf ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there an published method for removing the effect of isolation by distance from genetic distances?

Isolation by distance is the phenomena that (even partial) reproductive isolation due to geographical distance between reproductive populations will result in greater genetic distance between those ...
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Have orcas ever been observed to be eaten by another species?

Orcas are well known to prey on just about everything that lives in the ocean, even including great white sharks. Yet in a lot of cases I know that the food chain is not unidirectional, there are many ...
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1 answer
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Which trophic level has the highest population in a food chain?

The basic trophic levels in any food chain are the producers, the consumers and the decomposers. Most of the websites I've searched say they are the decomposers. But shouldn't it be the producers? In ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How to convert system of equations with explicit substrate consumption into an implicit one?

I have a description of competition between two bacteria that is described by the system of equations: S = substrate, μ = bacterial division rate, K = half saturation constant, y = yield (cells per ...
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Why did ALL dinosaurs go extinct?

Why did all dinosaurs, rather than just some of them, go extinct during the K-T extinction event? Birds are an exception, but being able to fly, they are also a very special kind of creature, and ...
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3 votes
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Apportionment models, niche theory, neutral theory

I am trying to understand the relation between apportionment models, niche theory, and neutral theory of biodiversity. Wikipedia seems to suggest that the first two are the same thing, whereas the ...
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Sediment Size and Mayfly (Explanation + Literature)

I am doing investigation into association of sediment size with the movement of mayfly nymphs in a choice chamber, sampling the organisms from a stream. I will be doing a chi square test to determine ...
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Co-culture models of bacterial invasion: where to find them?

I am interested in models showing how pathogenic bacteria (namely Escherichia coli O157) can overcome commensal species (thus, causing a disease). This is a basic concept in biology but I can't find a ...
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How can I learn botany/plant ID by myself?

I am interested in sources and methods regarding botany and plant ID, and being a self-taught person. Textbooks, sites etc. Thank you all in advance!
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Can hunting of large specimens of a species make the size and weight of the species tend to be smaller?

Siberian tigers in the wild don't grow as much as they used to be in past (in the 1900s). Their average weight was measured 176 kg in 2005 study. But it was also said that those tigers observed in ...
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Soil microbiology reference

I am after some good reference on Soil Microbe Ecology and Biology. I am a biophysicist, and have read the very gentle approach of "Life in the Soil" (James Nardi). Another book I have been ...
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Caloric Mimicry

Was thinking about natural "zero calorie" sweetness and how these compounds could come to be via evolution. I was specifically thinking about monk fruit. While artificial selection likely ...
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What is this Patagonian biome?

This image was taken in Patagonia, near the Torres Del Paine National Park. What type of biome this is? There are trees and other vegetation, but they seem mostly dried. I think this is either a semi-...
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14 votes
1 answer
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Are there phage-eating bacteria?

If phages (bacterium-eating viruses) prowl on bacteria, are there bacteria (or other micro-organisms) that hunt phages for food? They are rich in proteins anyway... Are there studies on this subject? ...
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What global habitat classification systems are there?

I am an IT guy, not a biologist or ecologist, but have ended up with (roughly) the task "given this Latitude/Longitude pair, return the 'habitat' at that location". The points of interest in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is disease risk?

I would like to find an accurate definition of disease risk for virus ecology. I am searching in articles and in none of them this term is defined, they only mention it. ...
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Why do predatory mites have to be introduced multiple times?

I'm combating spider mite infestation using either Phytoseiulus persimilis or Amblyseius californicus. After extensive study of the literature, I'm still unsure why the producers of these predatory ...
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Is my understanding of the Bergmann's rule correct? (mass is secondary)

According to Wikipedia, Bergmann's rule applies because animals living in colder areas have greater surface-area-to-volume ratio. If I understand that correctly, the advantage of the bulkier bodies ...
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Is a pampa an example of ecological succession?

I'm not very sure if a pampa is an example of an ecological succession. The reason of my doubt is due I've remember hearing that a Pampa is formed when a Valley which has had a river on it, no longer ...
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4 votes
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Why is the consumer/producer biomass ratio higher in the oceans?

According to Bar-on et al. (2018) (see figure 2), the terrestrial consumer/producer biomass ratio is 20/450 while the marine consumer/producer biomass ratio is 5/1 (in Gton of carbon). Why is the ...
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Do fish depend on plants for survival?

As far as I know, all land life depends on plants for survival. Plants convert sunlight to energy using photosynthesis, herbivores consume plants, and carnivores consume herbivores. All the energy is ...
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1 answer
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How many giant kelp are there per square meter?

In a high-density giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) bed how many "holdfasts" or roots would there be per square meter of seafloor on average?
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What is the rate of bacterial cell death due to viruses on land?

"The rate of viral infection in the oceans stands at 1 × 10^23 infections per second, and these infections remove 20–40% of all bacterial cells each day." - https://www.nature.com/articles/...
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Techniques to find out which species are endangered

Most countries have a list of endangered species and international organisations too issue such lists of vulnerable and endangered species. What mathematical or statistical models are those estimates ...
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3 votes
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Optimal agriculture: maximum yield with minimum environmental impact

I read more and more stuff about alternative method of agriculture such as permaculture. Howerver, I'm not an ecologist or biologist so I don't know where to look for really good and serious articles /...
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Is this question about limiting factors answerable?

This is from a Singapore-Cambridge GCE O-level Biology exam (a national exam for 16-year-olds). The exam board maintains that the question is "correct and accurate"—but isn't there a typo in ...
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Why don't the female lions in a pride help their male lion to protect their children from other males?

I watched a dozen of videos taping the fights between male lions; none of them involve female lions assisting in the fight. It is also known that the male lion who take-over the pride will kill all ...
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