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Environmental Science vs. Environmentalism
environmentalism is a social movement (protecting the natural world) Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary science incorporating the natural sciences and social sciences
Scientic Method
Observations Questions Hypothesis Predictions Test Results (results that fail to reject the hypothesis go back to predictions) (results that reject hypothesis go back to hypothesis) (results that prove hypothesis move on to scientific process)
Scientific Process
Scientific Paper Peer Review Paper rejected or accepted Publication in scientific journal further research by scientific community (which takes it back to the scientific method)
Ecology Definition
The scientific study of the processes influencing the distribution and abundance of organisms, the interactions among organisms, and the interactions between organisms and the transformation and flux of energy and matter.
Exponential and Logistic Population Growth
Biotic potential and intrinsic rate of increase = r Environmental Resistance Resources control population growth Exponential Growth Logistic Growth
r - selected species (rate of increase)
Many small offspring. little or no parental care and protection of offspring. early reproductive age. most offspring die before reaching reproductive age. small adults. adapted to unstable climate and environmental conditions. high population growth rate. (r). population size fluctuates wildly above and below carrying capacity (k). Generalist niche. low ability to compete. early succesional species. (examples include cockroach and dandelion).
Carrying Capacity (K)
K- selected species
fewer, larger offspring. high parental care and protection of offspring. later reproductive age. most offspring survive the reproductive age. larger adults. adapted to stable climate and environmental conditions. low population growth rate (r). population size fairly stable and usually close to carrying capacity (k). specialist niche. high ability to compete. late successional species. (examples are an elephant and a saguaro cactus).
Niche (n)
A niche is the function or occupation of a life-form within a community.
Human Genes
The number of genes humans inherit is the same number as a mouse.
Adaptive Radiation
The ability to exploit different kinds of foods results in variations of organisms that evolved from a common ancestor.
Thomas Malthus
His original view on humans and population was that humans are lazy and lustful and will keep making babies. Five Years later his view changed and he thought that humans could change and control their sexual urges.
What happens when logs fall into streams?
water levels rise upstream and pools form downstream. Salmon lay their eggs in Redds (nests) in gravel that is deposited upstream from logs.
3 benefits that a healthy riparian buffer provide for Salmon.
Stream water with reduced sediment, boulders, cobbles and gravel to form riffles to mix and add oxygen to stream water.
Streamside vegitation improves water quality by...
Reduced sediment Reduced bank erosion
Why is quantity important to stream health?
High flows can erode stream banks or destroy stream bed habitat. Low flow can increase water temps, limit habitat availibility and strand young fish.
What is the relationship between water temperature and dissolved oxygen?
The oxygen that is dissolved in water is vital to the survival of aquatic plants, animals and fish. Salmon and Trout need colder water and higher levels of dissolved oxygen than many other fish species.
How do impervious surfaces end up increasing water quantity?
When the overland flow is not absorbed by plants and soil, the amount of water flowing into the stream is increased.
Steps we can take to prevent negative impacts of the ever growing development and conversion of land to human made developments.
Protect our streams, wildlife and water quality. We need to preserve riparian buffers.
How does agriculture degrade the stream environment?
When land is cleared right up to the stream bank, bank erosion often occurs and water pollution increases.
Why are native species best to plant in an area?
(need answer)
What are the predators of salmon in the temperate rainforest?
Grizzly bears, eagles, black bears, people, gulls and otters.
Why are there so many salmon carcasses in the streams and rivers and what does that provide for those ecosystems?
When spawning ends the salmon die and their carcasses feed other organisms. The influx of nutrients feed the larvae and will make its way back to the salmon.
What are two detrivores /decomposers that feed on salmon carcasses?
maggots beetles flies
In which biogeochemical (nutrient ) cycles do salmon play a critical role in the temperate rainforest? Explain how it works.
Nitogen N-15 Salmon have high levels of N-15. On average 10 to20% and up to 55% of nitrogen used by trees in the temperate rainforest have come from salmon carcasses left by bears.
Why is salmon considered to be a keystone species in the temperate rainforest?
Because salmon provide the movement of nitrogen to the forest.
What will happen in the temperate rainforest when salmon numbers decline as predicted?
If salmon numbers decline all other species that are dependant upon salmon will decline and the overall lushness of the forest will decline.
Moss Mats
A.K.A. - suspended soils. In the temperate rainforest moss mats are the source of many new discoveries of new species in miniature form.
Why is there so much diversity in the canopy areas?
Because climates vary with the heights.
In the temperate rainforest, what interesting reversal of predator /prey relationship is puzzling scientists as they learn about life in the canopy.
For some unknow reason, ratio of predators to prey is much higher in the canopies.
How does mercury get into the environment and end up in fish?
Mercury is a naturally occuring element that can be found throughout the environment. Human activities such as burning coal and using mercury to manufacture products, have increased the amount of mercury in many parts of the environment including the atmosphere, lakes and streams.
What makes some species of fish more susceptible to methymercury accumulation than other species?
Because those species live in places where microbes have converted some of the natural and human mercury to a more toxic form, methylmercury.
What 4 species of fish does the EPA caution us against eating?
Shark Swordfish King Mackerel Tilefish
Alan Atkinson
Author of \"Believing Cassandra\" an optimist looks at a pessimist\'s world.
Limits to Growth
Published in 1972. Authors - Donella (\"Dana\") Meadows, Dennis Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William H. Behrens III. They created a computer program to act as a model of the entire world. \"World 3\" was what they called the future of that simulated world.
Natural Selection
Shapes organisms Darwin and Wallace proposed natural selection as a mechanism of evolution in 1858. organism face a constant struggle to survive and reproduce. organisms tend to produce more offspring than can survive. Individuals of a species vary in their traits. Some individuals are better suited to their environment and will survive and pass their traits on to their offspring.
Artificial Selection
When humans mix organisms together to create a new breed of organism. e.g. vegtables dogs
Potentially Renewable Sources
Sources that take along time to renew. fresh water forest products agricultural crops soils
Non Renewable Sources
crude oil natural gas coal copper, aluminum and other metals.
Science Limitations
Value Morality Supernatural
Above the natural world. \"God\"
Two Types of Experimentation
Manipulative Experiment Observation Experiment
Generalist vs. Specialist
example of a generalist is a raccoon. example of a specialist is a panda bear. (if one form is better then the other, why did both forms evolve?)
Silent Spring by Rachael Carson
The effects of pesticides on people and wildlife
Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich
The book is about population increase.
The gene for the protein BMP4, is responsible for thickening the jaws of certain species of cichlid fish and is also the very same gene responsible for changes in the beaks of finches.
Earth Summit & Agenda 21
The projects launched were not at all efective.
How can floods be productive to an ecosystem?
Floods wash away fine sediment, leaving gravel beds that are ideal for Salmon to lay eggs.
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