AEC 360   Ecology

Review Questions, Exam 1

1.  What are the levels of biological or ecological organization?

2.  What types of research approaches do ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and behavioral biologists employ?  What makes them different approaches, why is this important, and how are they useful?

3.  What adaptations do animals have to avoid being eaten?  How can predators affect prey individuals, populations, and communities, even if they do not kill the prey?

4. What are the different types of photosynthesis used by plants, and how are they adaptations to their environment?

5. What is meant be the term ‘tradeoff’ as applied to adaptations, and what types of tradeoffs are exhibited in the evolution of photosynthetic pathways?

6.  Describe adaptions fish have to different types of physical environments (that is, environments that vary in salinity or temperature).

7.  What physical factors in the environment limit the distributions of species?  Which of these factors determine the distributions within fields or forests?  Across continents?  What are similarities and differences between physical factors important to species distributions in terrestrial and aquatic environments?  What about in the consideration of individual species versus biomes?

8.  What are the key elements of the carbon cycle, and how does the carbon cycle relate to global warming?  How have humans influenced the carbon cycle, and what approaches are there to reducing that influence?

9.  What have been ecological effects of global warming?  What are some possible negative effects of ecological changes caused by global warming?

10.  What factors determine a biome?  What are the characteristics of major biomes?

11.   What conditions are needed for natural selection to occur, and how are these conditions evident in studies of the medium ground finch?

12.   Define, and give examples of, these types of selection: frequency-dependent; stabilizing, directional, disruptive.

13.  What are life history characteristics?  For any given life history characteristic, how does a change in that characteristic that might improve fitness lead to inevitable tradeoffs in other characteristics?

14.  What are the costs of sexual reproduction?  In sexually reproducing organisms, how and why does sexual selection shape species characteristics?

15. How can altruism be explained among closely related animals?  Among unrelated animals?