Environmental Science : Toward a Sustainable Future – Bethel

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Factors That Contribute to Ecosystem
                                                                           Change
       Environmental Science: Toward a                                        Dynamics of natural populations
       Sustainable Future                                                     Mechanisms of population equilibrium
       Richard T. Wright
                                                                              Mechanisms of species adaptation
                Chapter 4                                                     Ecosystem response to disturbance
                                                                              Lessons to learn
                Ecosystems: How They Change
                                      PPT by Clark E. Adams
                                                                              Show intro video clip - evolution


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   CHAPTER 4 OBJECTIVES
                                                                           Vocabulary  DAY 1
   1. The fundamental mechanism of population growth provides
   students with the tools to comprehend why the potential population          Define in your notebook
   size of some species is so much greater than the potential population
   size of other species.                                                   population equilibrium,
   2. The mechanisms of population equilibrium can help a student
   understand why some species are flourishing under current                exponential increase,
   environmental conditions while others are not as secure.
   3. The theory of evolution is fundamental to biology. The change in a    population explosion,
   species gene pool through time, by differential reproduction, is an
   essential component of evolution. Gradual change and punctuated          biotic potential,
   equilibrium are two suggested mechanisms of evolution. Natural
   selection is analogous to selective breeding.                            recruitment,
   4. Speciation occurs when the original population is separated such
   that interbreeding cannot occur and selective pressures differ           reproductive strategies,
   between the separated populations.
   5. Extinction occurs when environmental change occurs more rapidly
   than a species can adapt or migrate.
   6. The role of succession and disturbance in species diversity is
   important for being able to comprehend the dynamic equilibrium of
   the planet.
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   Vocabulary  DAY 2                                                      Dynamics of Natural Populations
       Define in your notebook
    environmental resistance,
                                                                              Population growth curves
    replacement level,
                                                                              Biotic potential versus environmental
    carrying capacity,                                                        resistance
    dynamic balance,                                                          Density dependence and critical number
    density dependent,

    population density,




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                                                                                                                           1
                                                            Population Growth Curves
 Population Equilibrium

A dynamic balance between births and deaths.

      Births                           Deaths




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 Population Growth Curves                                   Population Dynamics

    Reproductive strategies:                                   Environmental resistance: combination of
                                                               biotic and abiotic factors that may limit
                                                               population increase
                                                                  Predators, competitors, disease
                                                                  Adverse weather, limited food/nutrients
 Many offspring with
 low parental care
                               Few offspring with                 Show video
    J-shaped growth curve
                               high parental care
                               S-shaped growth curve


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 Biotic Potential and Environmental                         Density Dependence and Critical Numbers
 Resistance
                                                               Factors of environmental resistance are
                                                               either:
                                                                  density-independent: effect does not vary with
                                                                  population density; e.g., adverse weather
                                                                  density-dependent: effect varies with
                                                                  population density; e.g., infectious disease
                                                               Critical number: the lowest population
                                                               level for survival and recovery


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                                                                                                                       2
Vocabulary  Wednesday October 5
    Define in your notebook


   density independent,
   critical number,
   threatened,
   endangered,
   natural enemies,
   overgrazing

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                                         Mechanisms of Population Equilibrium

                                            Predatorprey dynamics
                                            Competition (show video clip 9:45-20:33)
                                               Interspecific
                                               Intraspecific
                                            Introduced species

                                            Video clip  human population growth
                                            (16:00-20:00)
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PredatorPrey Balance: Wolves and        Lessons to Be Learned about PredatorPrey
Moose                                    Balance
                                            Absence of natural enemies allows a
                                            herbivore population to exceed carrying
                                            capacity, which results in overgrazing of
                                            the habitat.
                                            The herbivore population subsequently
                                            crashes.
                                            The size of the herbivore population is
                                            maintained so that overgrazing or other
                                            overuse does not occur.

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                                                                                             3
PlantHerbivore Dynamics                                              Mechanisms of Population Equilibrium:
                             Reindeer on St. Matthew Island
                                                                      PlantHerbivore
   No regulatory control                                                 Compare the predatorprey with plantherbivore
   (predation) on                                                        methods of controlling the size of the herbivore
   herbivores                                                            population.
   Went into exponential                                                 How would the herbivore population growth
   growth pattern                                                        curve look if diseases or predators were used as
   Overgrazed habitat                                                    the control mechanism?
   Massive die-off of
   herbivores


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Vocabulary  Thursday October 6                                       Keystone Species
     Define in your notebook
 interspecific competition,
                                                                         A single species that
 intraspecific competition,                                              maintains biotic
 territoriality,
                                                                         structure of the
                                                                         ecosystem
 natural selection,
                                                                         Pisaster ochraceus: a
 riparian,                                                               starfish that feeds on
 epiphytes                                                               mussels, keeping
                                                                         them from blanketing
                                                                         the rocks                 http://www.marine.gov/




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Competition: Intraspecific                                            Competition: Interspecific

   Territoriality: defense of a resource against                      Grasslands contain
   individuals of the same species                                    plants with both
                                                                      fibrous roots and
      Examples of wolves and songbirds
                                                                      taproots
      Results in priority access and use of resources
                                                                      Coexist by accessing
   How do wolves and songbirds establish                              resources from
   territory?                                                         different soil levels




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                                                                                                                                 4
Introduced Species                                           Rabbits Overgrazing in Australia

   Rabbits in Australia (next slide)
   Chestnut blight in United States
   Japanese beetles, fire ants, gypsy moths
   in United States
   Water hyacinth, kudzu, spotted knapweed,
   purple loosestrife (see Fig. 4-13 in text) in
   United States


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Introduced Species                                           Introduced Species: Rabbits in
                                                             Australia
   Why have introductions of nonnative and                      Introduced into Australia from England in
   exotic species resulted in a degradation of                  1859
   ecosystems? (Think in terms of                               No natural enemies  rabbit population
   environmental resistance and biotic                          exploded
   potential.)                                                  Overabundant herbivore population
   An example of the answer to this question                    devastated natural vegetation (see Fig. 4-
                                                                11 in text).
   is given in the next slide.
                                                                Using disease as control measure  why
                                                                will this procedure fail in the long term?

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Mechanisms of Species Adaptation                             Lizard speciation animation

   Change through natural selection                             Lizard animation 1
      Selective pressure determines which organisms
      survive and reproduce and which are eliminated.
                                                                Lizard animation 2

                                                                Play animation for evolution (slide 19)




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