Ecology B/C

Test your knowledge of various Science Olympiad events.
gavinnupp
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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby gavinnupp » December 4th, 2016, 11:32 pm

Realized niche width is the range to which a specie's niche actually reaches, compared to a niche width, a usually wider range that describes the potential niche of a species, that is, what it could do with unlimited resources and no predators.

Case 1

Joseph Connell's study of intertidal barnacles, specifically the Chthamalus stellatus and Balanus balanoides, found that the barnacles shared different parts of the intertidal strata, the former taking the upper and the ladder taking the lower. Connell found that Chthamalus stellatus, in fact, could survive in both stratas, however, the presence of the other species prevented it from achieving its potential niche, therefore only reaching the realized niche of the upper strata. This was the first documented study of interspecific competition and proves the idea of realized niche width, that is a realized niche is specifically determined by limiting factors, such as interspecific competition in this case.

Case 2

A possibly more famous study conducted by Robert MacArthur on warblers of the North American spruce forests found that a total of 5 species of warblers could live in one tree. Competitive exclusion or Gause's Law theorized that if two species shared the same resources, one would eventually go extinct, let alone 5. MacArthur found that the 5 warbler species all lived in different parts of the tree, and thus partitioned resources so they could all live together. This also documents a realized niche as effectively, one species of warblers, without the presence of the other 4, could easily thrive on the rest of the tree parts.
All correct - I've heard of Connell's study more in the context of realized niche width, but I suppose the other examples works just as well.

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In a standard tundra biome, a company is drilling oil. It is mid-summer and the top layer of permafrost has melted. Give an example of how this company and its workers could affect the annual group of migratory birds that settle in the biome during the summer.
They could disturb the site of the birds' nesting, and their presence could inhibit the use of a site with human-phobic species. Permafrost does not typically melt in summer - this is why it is called perma(permentantly)frost(frozen). If the oil pipeline has caused the permafrost to melt in some way, then they would draw the surface water down, as there would be a lower impermeable layer, which could affect plants the birds feed upon.

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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby Zioly » December 5th, 2016, 4:09 pm


All correct - I've heard of Connell's study more in the context of realized niche width, but I suppose the other examples works just as well.

Don't forget to hide :D
Went up and fixed the hiding! :D

In a standard tundra biome, a company is drilling oil. It is mid-summer and the top layer of permafrost has melted. Give an example of how this company and its workers could affect the annual group of migratory birds that settle in the biome during the summer.
They could disturb the site of the birds' nesting, and their presence could inhibit the use of a site with human-phobic species. Permafrost does not typically melt in summer - this is why it is called perma(permentantly)frost(frozen). If the oil pipeline has caused the permafrost to melt in some way, then they would draw the surface water down, as there would be a lower impermeable layer, which could affect plants the birds feed upon.
In the summer, the very top layer of permafrost does in fact melt, I believe. If not, it could be the snow, my bad if that's the case. Either way, this creates many puddles, streams, marshes. The stagnant pools of water allow hordes of mosquitoes, which were preserved under the snow/permafrost with anti-freeze, to be born/revived. These hordes of insects then attract the migratory birds, as the temporary abundance of food makes it ideal for them. The company and its workers would most likely use pesticides to kill the insects, thus killing the migrating birds' food source.

I just took a look at the textbook I'm using, and it says that "surface soils that each summer but are generally underlain by a layer of permafrost that may be many meters thick." So perhaps the "surface soils" aren't classified as permafrost? An additional cause for the abundance of water in the summer is "because average annual temperatures are so low, precipitation exceeds evaporation. As a consequence, the short summers are soggy and the tundra landscape is alive with ponds and streams."
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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby gavinnupp » December 5th, 2016, 10:30 pm

In the summer, the very top layer of permafrost does in fact melt, I believe. If not, it could be the snow, my bad if that's the case. Either way, this creates many puddles, streams, marshes. The stagnant pools of water allow hordes of mosquitoes, which were preserved under the snow/permafrost with anti-freeze, to be born/revived. These hordes of insects then attract the migratory birds, as the temporary abundance of food makes it ideal for them. The company and its workers would most likely use pesticides to kill the insects, thus killing the migrating birds' food source.

I just took a look at the textbook I'm using, and it says that "surface soils that each summer but are generally underlain by a layer of permafrost that may be many meters thick." So perhaps the "surface soils" aren't classified as permafrost? An additional cause for the abundance of water in the summer is "because average annual temperatures are so low, precipitation exceeds evaporation. As a consequence, the short summers are soggy and the tundra landscape is alive with ponds and streams."
Don't forget to hide! Your go! :D
Ah. You misworded that then; the "active layer" melts and unmelts, allowing for hydric marshland during the summer. The permafrost underlays the active layer and acts as an impermeable floor, not allowing the surface soil to drain. The precipitation:evaporation plays into that also. Good point with the pesticide concept; I didn't approach the problem from that angle.
1. Explain the formation of coal from bogs.
2. [url]http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/science-update-19.pdf[/url] Has primary or secondary succession taken place at Mt. St Helens? explain your answer.

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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby Zioly » December 6th, 2016, 6:25 pm

In the summer, the very top layer of permafrost does in fact melt, I believe. If not, it could be the snow, my bad if that's the case. Either way, this creates many puddles, streams, marshes. The stagnant pools of water allow hordes of mosquitoes, which were preserved under the snow/permafrost with anti-freeze, to be born/revived. These hordes of insects then attract the migratory birds, as the temporary abundance of food makes it ideal for them. The company and its workers would most likely use pesticides to kill the insects, thus killing the migrating birds' food source.

I just took a look at the textbook I'm using, and it says that "surface soils that each summer but are generally underlain by a layer of permafrost that may be many meters thick." So perhaps the "surface soils" aren't classified as permafrost? An additional cause for the abundance of water in the summer is "because average annual temperatures are so low, precipitation exceeds evaporation. As a consequence, the short summers are soggy and the tundra landscape is alive with ponds and streams."
Don't forget to hide! Your go! :D
Ah. You misworded that then; the "active layer" melts and unmelts, allowing for hydric marshland during the summer. The permafrost underlays the active layer and acts as an impermeable floor, not allowing the surface soil to drain. The precipitation:evaporation plays into that also. Good point with the pesticide concept; I didn't approach the problem from that angle.
1. Explain the formation of coal from bogs.
2. [url]http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/science-update-19.pdf[/url] Has primary or secondary succession taken place at Mt. St Helens? explain your answer.
Answer to question 1:

[b]Coal Formation
[/b]Coal, a sedimentary rock, that is, a rock formed through compression/heat, is formed from the compressing of deceased organic plant matter, or peat. The peat is unable to decompose as it settles in the oxygen-lacking waters of a typical bog, and it can't be utilized by other organisms as very few can survive in the oxygen-less waters. So, the peat simply resides at the bottom until sediments are washed onto the layer of peat. This creates a coal seam. The layers of sediment then push on the layer of peat until it compresses into coal! Obviously, for the layer of peat to become a coal seam, the rate of accumulation must be higher than the rate of decay!

Answer to question 2: 

Depending on the amount of volcanic disturbance, an ecosystem could go through either secondary or primary succession:

Ecosystems that had the soil completely covered with volcanic material would undergo primary succession, as the soil (pumice) is brand new and completely inorganic. However, there would be bits of secondary succession after that, through floods, erosion, etc, as at that point, the new soil would've been exposed to SOME organic material.

If ash did not replace the soil completely, but was impactful enough to the point that it changed the functioning of the ecosystem, then that'd be secondary succession.

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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby gavinnupp » December 8th, 2016, 1:42 am

In the summer, the very top layer of permafrost does in fact melt, I believe. If not, it could be the snow, my bad if that's the case. Either way, this creates many puddles, streams, marshes. The stagnant pools of water allow hordes of mosquitoes, which were preserved under the snow/permafrost with anti-freeze, to be born/revived. These hordes of insects then attract the migratory birds, as the temporary abundance of food makes it ideal for them. The company and its workers would most likely use pesticides to kill the insects, thus killing the migrating birds' food source.

I just took a look at the textbook I'm using, and it says that "surface soils that each summer but are generally underlain by a layer of permafrost that may be many meters thick." So perhaps the "surface soils" aren't classified as permafrost? An additional cause for the abundance of water in the summer is "because average annual temperatures are so low, precipitation exceeds evaporation. As a consequence, the short summers are soggy and the tundra landscape is alive with ponds and streams."
Don't forget to hide! Your go! :D
Ah. You misworded that then; the "active layer" melts and unmelts, allowing for hydric marshland during the summer. The permafrost underlays the active layer and acts as an impermeable floor, not allowing the surface soil to drain. The precipitation:evaporation plays into that also. Good point with the pesticide concept; I didn't approach the problem from that angle.
1. Explain the formation of coal from bogs.
2. [url]http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/science-update-19.pdf[/url] Has primary or secondary succession taken place at Mt. St Helens? explain your answer.
Answer to question 1:

[b]Coal Formation
[/b]Coal, a sedimentary rock, that is, a rock formed through compression/heat, is formed from the compressing of deceased organic plant matter, or peat. The peat is unable to decompose as it settles in the oxygen-lacking waters of a typical bog, and it can't be utilized by other organisms as very few can survive in the oxygen-less waters. So, the peat simply resides at the bottom until sediments are washed onto the layer of peat. This creates a coal seam. The layers of sediment then push on the layer of peat until it compresses into coal! Obviously, for the layer of peat to become a coal seam, the rate of accumulation must be higher than the rate of decay!

Answer to question 2: 

Depending on the amount of volcanic disturbance, an ecosystem could go through either secondary or primary succession:

Ecosystems that had the soil completely covered with volcanic material would undergo primary succession, as the soil (pumice) is brand new and completely inorganic. However, there would be bits of secondary succession after that, through floods, erosion, etc, as at that point, the new soil would've been exposed to SOME organic material.

If ash did not replace the soil completely, but was impactful enough to the point that it changed the functioning of the ecosystem, then that'd be secondary succession.
Good enough. Your go

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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby Zioly » December 8th, 2016, 5:45 pm

Simple one.

Name 5 forms of symbiosis. Give examples of each.

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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby GoofyFoofer » December 8th, 2016, 9:16 pm

Simple one.

Name 5 forms of symbiosis. Give examples of each.
1. mutualism (relationship beneficial to both organisms); an example is a bee and a flower
2. commensalism (benefits one organism, while the other is unaffected); an example is a barnacle (benefits) and a crab (unaffected)
3. parasitism (one organism, the parasite, benefits, while the other, the host, is harmed but usually not killed); an example is a tick (parasite) and dog (host)
4. predation (one organism, predator, benefits, while the other, prey, is killed); example is snake (predator) and mouse (prey)
5. competition (organisms inhibit each other's fitness, both are harmed); example is moose and deer, who compete for food/space

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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby Zioly » December 9th, 2016, 7:59 am

Simple one.

Name 5 forms of symbiosis. Give examples of each.
1. mutualism (relationship beneficial to both organisms); an example is a bee and a flower
2. commensalism (benefits one organism, while the other is unaffected); an example is a barnacle (benefits) and a crab (unaffected)
3. parasitism (one organism, the parasite, benefits, while the other, the host, is harmed but usually not killed); an example is a tick (parasite) and dog (host)
4. predation (one organism, predator, benefits, while the other, prey, is killed); example is snake (predator) and mouse (prey)
5. competition (organisms inhibit each other's fitness, both are harmed); example is moose and deer, who compete for food/space
All good. Your go.

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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby Zioly » December 14th, 2016, 3:22 pm

I'll go since Goofy hasn't gone in 5 days.

Another simple one.

Define Gause's competitive exclusion principle.

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Re: Ecology B/C

Postby gavinnupp » December 16th, 2016, 11:58 am

I'll go since Goofy hasn't gone in 5 days.

Another simple one.

Define Gause's competitive exclusion principle.
no two species can occupy the same niche at the same time


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