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Principles of Ecology BIO213 Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

Principles of Ecology Notes for midterm and Finals BIO213

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

What is Ecology?

What is Ecology
- The study of our house and the indivi­duals within
Abiotic - Atmosphere
Biotic - Primary producers, Secondary producers, Decomp­osers
Open systems - Earth can be affected by outside objects
Closed systems - Universe
Discip­lines of Ecology
- Individual
- Biosphere

Biomes and State Factors

Climat­ograms - average temp season graph
Temp/p­rec­ipi­tation and highli­ghted growing season

Nine Terrre­stisl Biomes

1. Tundra
- coldest biome, permafrost and stunted
-mount­ains, harsh wind, very short growing season

2. Boreal Forest (Taiga)
- Densely populated by coniferous trees
- not below the Equator
-Harsh winter, short growing

3. Temperate Rainforest
-mild temper­ature
-lots of rain
-evergreen forest (Giants)

4. Temperate Seasonal Forest
- moderate temper­ature and precip­itation
- deciduous trees (oak, maple etc.)
- low contin­ent­ality

5. Woodland/ shrubland (chapa­rral)
-hot dry/mild wet
-grasses and shrubs

6. Temperate Grassland
- hot dry/very cold
- grasses, flowers and shrubs

7. Tropical Rainfo­rests
- Warm very humid
- long growing

8.Tropical Seasonal Forest
- wet/dry seasons
-deciduous trees

9. Subtro­pical desert
-hot temp, scarce rain
-long growing season

Five State Factors

1. Climate
2. Topography
3. Parent Material
4. Potential Biota
5. Time

-atmos­pheric conditions AVERAGED over years
-NOT weather

- layout of the land -elevation proximity to lakes

Parent Material
-under­laying geology of a region
- helps determine foil formation + nutrient availa­bility

Potential Biota
- ecosystems hostages to evolution

-Deep time - contin­ental drift, meteor impacts
-Short term - Time since dister­bance (succe­ssion)

Hadley Cell

Hadley Cell (Tropical air mass)

1. Warm air rises, expands and cools
2. Releasing latent energy, warm air rises more
3. air moves poleward due to pressure gradient (subtr­opics)
4. cool air sinks and heads back toward tropics with moisture

Rain Shadows
-effect Mountains and oceans have on temper­ature and precip­itation

Elevation has signif­icant effect on temper­ature

Contin­ent­ality - climatic effect that results from a contin­ental interior being insulated from oceanic influences

Natural Regions of Alberta

1. Rocky Mountain
- coolest summers, shortest growing season
- Greatest elevat­ional range
2. Foothills
- Mid elevation
-Bedrock ridges to hills
-lots of precip­itation
- Forest­-do­minated
3. Boreal Forest
- Four months < -10 deg C
- 2 months of summer > 15C
- extensive coniferous and aspen trees
- wetlands and sand dunes
4. Canadian Shield
- exposed granite bedrock
-glacial deposits, small lakes, forests
5. Grassland
-rich topsoil
- flat-r­olling prairie
-warmest and driest region
-trees along riverb­anks, uncommon shallow saline lakes
6. Parkland
- a mix of grasses and trees
- Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary


- Morpho­log­ical, physio­logical or behavi­oural traits that provide a fit between the organism and the enviro­nment

- Biotic - biological components
- Abiotic - physical components

1. Match - adapta­tions make sense given the conditions experi­enced by the organism
2. FITNESS - organisms with adapta­tions have higher success

- Measure of the lifetime success
-number of offspring
-# of offspring surviving to adulthood
-# of offspring having offspring
- Survival is not as crucial as # of offspring
Evolution - Changes to the freque­ncies of alleles within a population

Natural Selection
- Selective agent is the biotic or abiotic enviro­nment
traits are favoured that enhance fitness
1. Variation in phenotype
2. Fitness is non-random in respect to phenotype
3. Phenotype is heritable

1. Stabil­izing
- Avg phenotype has max fitness
- removes extreme phenotypes
- maintains average
2. Direct­ional
- Operates when one extreme has higher fitness
-shifts average in the direction of extreme
3. Disruptive
- both extreme have higher fitness
- removes average
-two phenotypic groups

Static adaptation
- unchan­geable across enviro­nments and life stages

Ontoge­netic adapta­tions
-adaptions specific to life stages
-change as the enviro­nment

Physio­logical Ecology

Range of Tolerance
Tolerance - degree of perfor­mance or fitness
Zone of intole­rance - death is inevitable
Range of tolerance - full range individual can survive
Zone of physio­logical stress - barely survive
Range of growth - individual can survive and grow
Optimum range - individual can grow and reproduce

Enzymes - range temper­ature curve

Hs= Hm+-Hc­d+-­Hcv­+-Hr-He
Hs - total heat
Metabolic heat - chemical reactions
Conduction - heat moves warm-> cold
Convection - movements air or water
Radiation - sun or radiated off of something (fire/­rock)
Evapor­ative cooling - water

Ectotherms - Hs regulate by external temp
Endotherms - Hs regulated by internal process

Poikil­otherms - Internal temp varies
Homeot­herms - Internal temp remains constant

Coping with Extremes
1. Escape - migration, dormancy
- Cyptob­iosis - complete loss of metabolism
- Hibern­ation - reduced not shut down
- Torpor - brief periods of reduced activity
- Aestiv­ation - adaptation for coping with extreme heat

2. Season­all­y-a­ppr­opriate phenotype
3. Compensate for the inability to thermo­reg­ulate
- Make more enzymes, each enzyme is slow but do more work
- turn on approp­riate gene under approp­riate temper­atures
4. Die - strong selection can lead to extinction or to adaptation
via evolution through natural selection

The Niche

- The set of enviro­mental factors that influence the growth survival and rep. of a species
- Niche axis - shows diversity

Fundam­ental Niche
- Abiotic and Food conditions in which a species might live, in the absence of intera­ctions with other organisms
Realized Niche
- Abiotic and food conditions in which a species might live, given intera­ctions with other organisms

Allocation of Energy

Principle of the allocation of energy
- since energy resources are limited using energy for one thing reduces the energy available for another (e.g growth and rep)

Fast and Slow life histories
(R-sel­ected) and (K-sel­ected)
Life histories
1. Age of sexual Maturity
2. Fecundity
3. Partiy - breeding event
4. Parental investment
5. Longevity

- Compet­itors (top)- fare poorly in stress­/di­sturbed
- Stress tolerant - unique adapta­tions
- Ruderals - quick to arrive and grow easily out-co­mpeted

Behavioral Ecology I

Battle of the Sexes

Asexual reprod­uction - without the fusion of gametes
Autogamy - fusion of gametes - within the same individual (can swap gametes)
Allogamy - fusion of gametes - different indivi­duals

Gynoge­nesis - sperm touches but not penetrates
hybrid­oge­nesis - Father's DNA excluded from next generation

Isogamy - Sperm and egg same size
Anisogamy - Sperm smaller than egg
Oogamy - Egg non-motile

Sexual Dimorphism - difference in size/a­ppe­arance apart from genitalia
Anisog­amous Species - sperm smaller than egg
Males - want to mate - Max. Fit.
Females - want to wait - Max. Fit.
Fit Max?? - males have more offspring
Male Phenot­ypes: compete with other males, attract females etc.
Female Phenot­ypes: drawing males in, choosing males

Conseq­uences of Anisogamy
1. Female Choice
- Sexual selection, Direct­/in­direct benefits, Brain develo­pment
2. Battle of the males
-Direct battles, Sperm Comp, Interf­erence, Infant­icide
3. Sexual conflict between males and females
Tramatic insemi­nation + infant­icide
Features for grip
Genitalia changes
Cryptic Female choice - stores/ chemically kills sperm
Sexual Cannib­alizm - female eats male

Battle of the female
1. Nonada­ptive hypoth­esis- female aggression byproduct
2. Natural selection Hypothesis - compete for food and protection
3. Sexual selection - males are rare/good genes

Mating Systems

Mating Systems
- Social sexual structure of a pop

- Exclusive
Serial - partner for that season but different yearly
Social - care of offspring together, not bio
Genetic - care for bio offspring

- multiple partners
Polygyny - Male +females
Polyandry - Female +males
Polygy­nandry -+males +females exclusive

- no mate choice (seaan­nem­inies)

Sex with Benefits
- mate guarding
- female­-en­forced monogamy
- mate assistance

Direct benefits, Indirect benefits

Material benefits polyandry
- more resources
- Better protection
- infant­icide resistance
- genetic benefits (better chance pregnancy)

Dispersion of resources and ability to defend

Paternal Care
Altricial - born helpless
Precocial - born indepe­ndent

Population Ecology

- a group of potent­ially interb­reeding organisms capable of producing fertile offspring
- Organisms ACTUALLY reproduce contained in the same geographic area
Population Charac­ter­istics
Geographic Range, Abundance, Density, Disper­sion, Dispersal, Structure
1. Spatial distri­bution - Niche requir­ements, time, ability to get there
2. Abundance
-Census size (Nc) mark release capture M/N=R/C
3. Density
# of indivi­duals per unit area
4. Dispersion
5. Dispersal
-the movement of indivi­duals

Population growth

Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 - Percentage of survivors (log(l­x*1­00)­)/(Max life span)

lx = proportion of those born Nx/N0
bx = average number of female offspring an individual female has during x
lxbx = replaced % of the starting population
R0 = Net reprod­uctive rate sum of lxbx
T= generation time sumof xlxbx/R0
r= per capita growth rate InR0/T

N/T=BI­DE/­change T
r= b-d


dN/dt = rmaxNt­((K­-N)/K)

Intras­pecific intera­ctios

Intras­pecific intera­ctions
- Behaviours directed towards the recipient from an actor
Actor - doing the thing
Recipient - getting the thing
Cooper­ation - benefits both - forging, protection
Selfis­hness - benefits actor - self protection
Altruism - benefits recipient - kin selection greenb­eard, recipr­ocal, costly signaling
Spite - no benifit