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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What is full form of r and K in r-selection species and K-selection species?

What is full form/ meaning of 'r' and 'K' in r-selection species and K-selection species? Does this 'r' means "Random" and the 'K' means "constant"?
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3 votes
1 answer
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Could we eradicate mosquitoes? [closed]

Researchers have proposed the application of CRISPR/Cas9 and gene drive to genetically alter wild mosquito populations such that they don't transmit malaria. The government of New Zealand has ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What happens when you take a deciduous tree and place it in a climate controlled greenhouse?

The greenhouse would have stable level of light, (matched with day/night wavelength brightness changes like outside the greenhouse), humidity and temperature. Do certain processes in the tree not ...
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7 votes
2 answers
202 views

Example of species that went extinct because of excessive hunting by non-humanoid predators?

I was wondering if there were any species that went extinct for being excessively hunted/eaten by predators? I don't mean human hunting. For example, I wish to know if there's a species of frog that ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Did migratory birds' ancestors live in the places of migration?

I was studying birds' migration as a type of instinctive behaviour. But my textbook points out that other than for warm climate and easy food, migratory bird migrate to places where their ancestors ...
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7 votes
1 answer
77 views

Where can I find comprehensive data on animal distribution?

I'm looking for vertical distribution or tidal height of several intertidal species, specifically from the Pacific Northwest. I considered looking for published research for each species however, my ...
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1 answer
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What is the impact of the invasiveness of the European Starling in North America?

Currently there is a campaign to eradicate the European Starling from North America because of its threat to other species. Are there actual data regarding the extent of the ecological risk to native ...
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22 votes
3 answers
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Why is a mosquito feeding on human blood not a parasite?

I recently read in my Ecology course notes that a mosquito feeding on human blood is not considered as a parasite. However, since it sucks blood from the human body, shouldn't it be regarded as a ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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Why are these trees leaning, but no trees around them are?

This was observed in Florida.The trees on the left have a distinct lean to them, but none of the other trees in the area are leaning, why is this? I'm not sure what other information is pertinent or ...
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Can an exotic species be also endemic?

While talking about the evolution and conservation of dingoes in Australia, someone asked an interesting question: Can I define the dingo as an endemic species? That question, despite apparently ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How can I measure bee and wasp population?

Bees and wasps in our garden disappeared suddenly last year - I asked a question about it at Why our bees might have suddenly disappeared. This year, I see that some bumblebees are active now. I'd ...
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Structure of an Ecosystem

Changes in WHICH of the following factors will result in a change of an ecosystem's structure and composition? A: nutrient availability B: temperature C: number of trees D: light ...
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1 vote
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How many animals inhabit the United States?

How many animals inhabit the United States and its waters? Not the number of species, but the number of individual animals. And since animals are diverse, maybe we can limit the estimate to just ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Why African species are larger in size compared to other parts of world?

Why are African species larger in size compared to other parts of world? Best Example: African elephants are very famous for Giant ears. So many African Animals listed in Guinness World of Records. ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Is there a name for dominant-intraspecific competition?

Some ecological competition dynamics have particular names (e.g.: scramble competition, contest competition, ...). I wonder if there's such a name for competition dynamics where the interspecific ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Does rainwater contain many fewer micro-organisms than river water?

From watching many documentaries on micro-organisms, I can tell water typically contains quite a lot of them. But what about rainwater? (before it hits the ground). I know nothing about any micro-...
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5 votes
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How do communities relate to food webs?

I am a biology student who has just completed drawing a food web for class. As I was making it, I learned that a food web is the sum of all feeding interactions. My teacher associated food webs with ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why does V. cholerae produce a human specific choleragen?

V. cholerae secrete choleragen to grow and escape human intestines, however choleragen does not work on other mammals, why so? Why didn't it evolve a general mammal affecting choleragen? This question ...
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Why do plants flower in different seasons?

I know how it is controlled (photoperiodism), but I wonder why all plants don't start to flower in spring? Is it connected with ecological niche?
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1 answer
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What is the point of toxins without remarkable coloring?

As far as I know, some toxic species (eg: some mushrooms) have no remarkable coloring. Therefore, what is the purpose of their toxins? Toxic species often have colorful appearances to warn predators. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How does Vibrio cholerae benefit from infecting its host?

As far as I know, V. cholerae secretes a toxin called choleragen into the intestinal lumen which affects the intestinal epithelial cells causing release of Na+ and Cl- ions into the lumen and reducing ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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Squirrel nest construction

I've often wondered how squirrels -- specifically, eastern grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) make their nests. Specifically, I've been curious about how they "weave" everything together to make ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How does eutrophication yield lower levels of dissolved oxygen? [closed]

Where do the oxygen go? Is it consumed by a particular species? Is just not enough being made? Please explain.
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the diet preference of American cockroaches?

I found a research article1 on the diet preference of German cockroaches. It reveals that those cockroaches prefer to eat bananas most. I wonder if it is the same for American cockroaches. And also, ...
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1 answer
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What percent of biology study is dedicated to species-specific subjects like ecology and evolutionary biology? [closed]

I'm thinking of studying biology, especially ecological and evolutionary biology. Could you give an estimate for me, what percentage of current standard biology study at university contains ...
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What's the difference between morphospace expansion and packing?

I'm reading an article that talks about morphospace and niche expansion or packing. Differences in slope above and below zero indicate dominance of morphospace expansion versus morphospace ...
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1 vote
1 answer
187 views

How do both autotrophic and heterotrophic successions end up having Gross Production = Respiration?

I was reading Information theory by Eleith, Odum and Golley from different sources, one of which was Funfamentals of ecology by Odum: ... autogenic succession usually begins with an unbalanced ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Does gross production (P) and biomass (B) mean the same?

From fundamentals of ecology, Odum 2005: ... autogenic succession usually begins with an unbalanced community metabolism, where gross production, P, is either greater than or less than community ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Help with analogy: Competition among similar species

I'm not from this field, but I'm trying to make a biology/ecology analogy for companies with similar products competing for the same market segment. I was thinking of using the competitive exclusion ...
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1 answer
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What does self-perpetuating mean?

From Wikipedia The community begins with relatively few pioneering plants and animals and develops through increasing complexity until it becomes stable or self-perpetuating as a climax community. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Simpson's index

Simpson’s index is a diversity index which is the summation of the square of the probabilities of the species in a community. The value varies between 0-1. here, pi=n/N where ni=number of individual ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What forms the base of the coral reef ecosystem?

Corals are small animals that form a symbiotic relationship with algae. The algae produce sugars for the corals and are in turn provided with needed nutrients and protection from predators. That's ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Explanation of ecological parameters with some model examples [closed]

I think an ecological parameter is: A variable, measurable property whose value is a determinant of the characteristics of an ecosystem. From eea.europa.eu But what could these parameters be? In ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Confusion regarding Lindeman's law

I came across Lindeman's 10% law at school. It states that 10% of the total energy entering a trophic level is available for transfer to the next trophic level. I was reading Ecology: Principles and ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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What is the name of classification of water, air and soil? [closed]

The definition of living organisms is all types of organisms are capable of some degree of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth, development and homeostasis. Non-living organisms are inanimate ...
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1 answer
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Can assimilated energy be simply lost from a trophic level?

I was reading Environmental Studies By B. S. Chauhan and there a diagram of a model of transfer of energy. NU = Not used energy has been shown, energy that was neither stored or exported to the next ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Explanation of universal model of energy flow

I am trying to understand the Universal model of energy flow by Odum. In this linked diagram I is the input energy(the amount of energy present in the food consumed by this tropic level, say its, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Liebig's law of minimum

I was reading from Odum about Liebig's law of minimum. It said that the law is appicable in steady state condition i.e. when the inflow of energy and material balances out the outflow. I got two ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is meant by increase in information embodied in the system?

From Ecosystem Ecology edited by Sven Erik Jørgensen After the initial capture of energy across a boundary, ecosystem growth and development is possible by an increae of the physical structure(...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Phoresis and mechanical vectors

According to wikipedia and Human Parasitology By Burton Jerome Bogitsh, Clint Earl Carter, Thomas N. Oeltmann Phoresis: In this type of symbiotic relationship, the phoront, usually the smaller ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What motivation is there to create general, cross-species neural models which account for the variation between species in different environments?

The main components of human neuroanatomy have been mapped out. What attempt has there been to map a broad (many-species) spectrum of functional parts of the nervous system? Such a mapping could be ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Recommendation of Ecology books

What are some of the standard books to study : Biological Interactions: Symbiosis, Mutualism...etc Concept of Limiting factors Niche concept Resource partitioning Concepts of community change ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Calculation of Malthusian fertility and mortality from birth and death rates

In a simple Malthusian model, the population $p$ grows according to $p = p_0e^{rt}$, where $r = \beta - \mu$, $\beta$ is the "fertility" parameter and $\mu$ the "mortality" parameter. In the case of $\...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the standard method for measuring soil and substrate acidity

Soils and other plant substrates differ a lot in their moisture content. In dry matter a pH is not measurable without adding water, but this has the problem of the resulting value not being ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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The mechanism of the evolutionary rate hypothesis

There are several hypotheses for explaining the latitudinal gradients in species diversity (link). Of which, the evolutionary rate hypothesis states that warm temperature increases the rate of ...
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4 votes
2 answers
495 views

Basic question about symbiosis( or about kinds of symbiosis)

Is there a type of symbiosis where an organism is harmed and the other is neither harmed nor helped? If not, do you think there's a term for this sort of relation between two organisms?
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2 votes
0 answers
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A question about a succession study by Chapin et al. (1994)

The succession study in Glacier Bay, Alaska (Chapin et al., 1994) is an example that is used in almost all introductory texts on ecological succession. In the study, the effect of each succession ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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Why do birches have a white bark?

Several species of the tree genres Betula have a white bark,especially when they are young. This is quite peculiar to trees - at least in central Europe; so I'm wondering if there is a ecological ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Nutrient limitation in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems

In terms of primary production, it is often described in textbooks that nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient in terrestrial ecosystems, while phosphorus is the most limiting nutrient in freshwater ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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The effect of depth on net primary production in aquatic ecosystems

The figure shows the relationship between the water depth and net primary production (=P-R). I want to know why the production (P) initially increases with water depth near the surface? I have seen ...
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