ENVR E-140/W Fundamentals of Ecology - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Title: ENVR E-140/W Fundamentals of Ecology


1
ENVR E-140/W Fundamentals of Ecology
  • Instructor Mark Leighton Teaching
    Assistants Katherine McAuliffe
  • leighton_at_fas.harvard.edu mcauliff_at_fas.harvard.e
    du
  • markleighton9_at_yahoo.com Alexander Georgiev
  • georgiev_at_fas.harvard.edu
  • This course introduces basic concepts in the
    ecology of individual organisms, their
    populations, and the biological communities in
    which they live.
  • Emphasis is on terrestrial plant and animal
    ecology.
  • The historical, evolutionary, and ecological
    processes determining the distribution of
    ecosystems, habitats, and species are introduced.
  • Evolutionary processes responsible for the
    adaptations of individuals are examined to
    understand the diversity of species and their
    features.
  • Theories of competition, predation, disease,
    and mutualism help explain the functioning of
    biological communities.
  • These fundamentals establish a basis for
    examining the challenges imposed by humans on the
    functioning of natural ecosystems. The
    sustainable harvesting and use of natural
    resources, the implications of human population
    growth and size, and the transformation of
    ecosystems through human activities and policies
    are examined in this ecological context.

2
Grades are assigned on the basis of performance
on Undergraduate credit Graduate
credit in-class midterm examination 25 25 es
say I field trip write-up 15 15 essay II
assigned topic 25 term paper 25 in-class
final examination 35 35
  • The two in-class exams will be a mixture of
    short answer, essay questions graphs.
  • The first written assignment is a lab write-up
    for data collected on the field trip those
    unable to attend will have a slightly different
    assignment.
  • The second essay is for undergraduates and will
    be limited to five double-space pages.
  • Those taking the course for graduate credit are
    instead required to write a 10-15 page term paper
    that will allow you to explore a topic of your
    choice, requiring some outside literature review
    from library and/or internet research.
  • A Saturday field trip to a nearby forest will
    examine ecological methods and concepts data
    collected will be presented and discussed in the
    first written assignment.
  • For all written assignments, drafts are to be
    handed in for suggested improvements before the
    final version is submitted for grading.

3
Writing-intensive courses at Harvard Extension,
such as Fundamentals of Ecology, offer students
the opportunity to develop their writing skills
in the context of a particular academic
discipline, and they all feature common elements.
  • Students will
  • --develop core writing skills, as defined by the
    instructor, in the discipline of the course
  • (Field trip write up scientific essay or term
    paper)
  • --complete multiple writing assignments of
    varying lengths, at least 2 of which must be
    revised (Drafts of both these assignments are
    required)
  • --produce a minimum of 10-12 pages of writing,
    exclusive of the required revisions, over the
    course of the term
  • --meet at least once in individual conference (in
    person, by phone, or electronically) with the
    instructor or TA to discuss writing in progress
    (Schedule with your TA)
  • --and receive detailed feedback on their drafts
    and revisions, on both content and expression.
    (These will be annotated on drafts and revisions)

4
Textbooks and Readings
  • The required textbook (available at the Harvard
    Coop or Amazon.com) is Essentials of Ecology, 3rd
    edition, by Townsend, C. R., M. Begon J. L.
    Harper.
  • (Note that students wishing a slightly more
    advanced, longer and expensive treatment can
    elect to substitute Ecology From Individuals to
    Ecosystems, the same authors but in different
    order (Begon, Townsend Harper), and available
    at the same two sources. The organization of the
    two books and the concepts and examples closely
    mimic each other, but note that reading will only
    be assigned from Essentials of Ecology. Note
    that this substitution is not recommended, but
    very easily done if a student so wishes.)
  • In addition, expect a few short journal
    articles to be assigned as required reading to
    illustrate some relevant field research studies
    for essay assignments. These will be available
    as PDF files and placed on the class web site in
    advance of the lecture for which they are
    relevant.
  • Some supplementary readings and materials of
    interest may also be posted on the website

5
ENVR E-140 Fundamentals of Ecology Course
Outline
  • Date Topic Assigned Reading
  • Sep 18 Introduction Case Study on Ecology of
    Bornean Rainforests T,BH chap. 1
  • Sep 25 The Ecological Context of Evolution
    Adaptation T,BH chap. 2
  • Oct 2 Adaptations to Environmental Conditions
    and Resources T,BH chap. 3
  • Oct 4 or 11 Saturday field trip to Estabrook
    Woods, Concord, MA (approx. 8am-5pm)
  • (Note rain make-up on Sunday Oct 5th or 12th)
  • Oct 9 Distribution of Earths Biomes T,BH
    chap. 4
  • Oct 16 Population Ecology Demography T,BH
    chap. 5
  • Oct 23 Population Ecology (cont.) / Competition
    Theory T,BH chap. 6
  • Essay I draft of field trip write-up due
  • Oct 30 Ecology of Predation, Grazing
    Disease T,BH chap. 7
  • Essay I drafts returned for revision

6
ENVR E-140 Fundamentals of Ecology Course
Outline
  • Date Topic Assigned Reading
  • Nov 20 Community Ecology T,BH chap. 9
  • Proposed term paper topics submitted by graduate
    students
  • Nov 27 Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Dec 4 Sustainability/Human Population
    Ecology T,BH chap. 12
  • Essay II assigned to undergraduates
  • Dec 11 Resource Energy Cycling Anthropogenic
    Pollution T,BH chap. 11, 13
  • Draft of term paper due from graduate students
  • Dec 18 Patterns Determinants of Species
    Richness T,BH chap. 10
  • Essay II draft due
  • Jan 8 Conservation Ecology and Spatial
    Planning T,BH chap. 14
  • Essay II final copy due from undergraduates
  • Final version of term paper due from graduate
    students

7
The Field Trip Assignment
  • Oct 4th/11th Saturday field trip to Estabrook
    Woods, Concord, MA (8am-5pm)
  • (note rain make-up on Sunday Oct 5th/12th, or
    following weekend)
  • Field review of ecology of forest types 20
    miles west of Boston
  • Field exercise Sampling Forest Vegetation at
    Estabrook Woods
  • sample trees by both plot and plotless methods
  • identify using floristic keys
  • map measure dbh (diameter at breast height)
  • calculate density, dominance and importance
    value
  • Data collected by student teams will be
    collated into tables summary statistics
    calculated and presented (use of Excel
    spreadsheet format recommended, but not required)
  • Write up comprised of Introduction, Methods,
    Results, Discussion
  • lt 5 double-spaced pages of text (not including
    tables)

8
Assignment for those who do not attend the field
trip
  • Choose one of two options
  • Write up the data collected by classmates
    attending the field trip
  • extra Results and Discussion section will focus
    on analyzing and interpreting species diversity
  • Sample local vegetation where you live!
  • Incorporate same research design we will use at
    Estabrook Woods, or can modify according to local
    vegetation
  • Identify species, measure dbh, etc.
  • Can be modified if your local habitats are
    treeless, so need to characterize vegetation
    dominated by shrubs or forbsgrasses

9
Ecology in PracticeObservations, Experiments and
Modeling
  • Brown trout in New Zealand
  • Old field succession in Minnesota
  • Nutrient dynamics in New Hampshire forest
  • Primates in Bornean rainforest

10
Brown Trout vs. Galaxias in New Zealand Streams
Waterfalls restrict trout to low
elevations cobbles allow coexistence
11
Brown Trout reduce herbivorous invertebrates,
allowing higher algal biomass on stream bottom
12
Cascading trophic effects of Brown Trout
introductions
13
Old Field Succession at Cedar Creek, Minnesota
Abandoned 1935, dominated by native
perennials Abandoned 1957, many exotic
agricultural weeds
14
Trends with ecological successionbut field age
and nitrogen content are both correlated with
changes in species composition
15
Convergence in species compositionExperimental
fertilization with nitrogen reveals both are
important 17 g N/m2/yr
1 g N/m2/yr
Note that 1 g N/m2/yr is typical annual input
from atmospheric pollution!
16
Hubbard Brook Ecosystem, NH
17
Case study of spatial temporal variation in
rainforest fruit resources from Gunung Palung
National Park, Indonesia
Borneo
18
Forest habitats at Gunung Palung
Because Gunung Palung is a coastal tropical
mountain, altitudinal zonation is compressed and
lower compared to interior mountains
See Cannon Leighton (J. Veg. Sci. 2002) for
floristic comparisons among habitats
19
Plot locations
20
Measuring distribution abundance of fruit
21
Fruiting Phenology mast fruiting (synchronized,
supraannual peaks ) is a feature of Bornean
rainforests
22
Preferred foods
  • vs.

Fallback foods
23
Measuring food availability in space
Peat swamp forest high availability of fallback
fruits Lowland forest types mast fruiting
common Montane forest low fruit availabily
24
Establishing habitat-specific densities of
vertebrates
Alluvium
Montane
Lowland granite
Peat swamp
Upland granite
Freshwater swamp
7 matched pairs of censuses
Lowland sandstone
25
Orangutan distribution and abundance at Gunung
Palung
26
Orangutan density peaks are not correlated
between habitats
High density correlated with mast-fruiting events
in LS AB habitats
Density in peat less variable
27
Mean orangutan density in six forest types (n
4830 censuses over 72 months)
28
All habitats are important in some months
29
Habitat shifts in relation to fruit availability
30
Asynchrony in fruit production indicates
phenological complementarity between habitats
Peat
Peat forest phenology is uncorrelated with the
five other habitats
Lowland
31
Conservation Implications1) ALL HABITATS ARE
IMPORTANT!2) OVERALL POPULATION DENSITY HIGHER
BECAUSE OF HABITAT MOSAIC
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ENVR E-140/W Fundamentals of Ecology

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Title: ENVR E-140/W Fundamentals of Ecology


1
ENVR E-140/W Fundamentals of Ecology
  • Instructor Mark Leighton Teaching
    Assistants Katherine McAuliffe
  • leighton_at_fas.harvard.edu mcauliff_at_fas.harvard.e
    du
  • markleighton9_at_yahoo.com Alexander Georgiev
  • georgiev_at_fas.harvard.edu
  • This course introduces basic concepts in the
    ecology of individual organisms, their
    populations, and the biological communities in
    which they live.
  • Emphasis is on terrestrial plant and animal
    ecology.
  • The historical, evolutionary, and ecological
    processes determining the distribution of
    ecosystems, habitats, and species are introduced.
  • Evolutionary processes responsible for the
    adaptations of individuals are examined to
    understand the diversity of species and their
    features.
  • Theories of competition, predation, disease,
    and mutualism help explain the functioning of
    biological communities.
  • These fundamentals establish a basis for
    examining the challenges imposed by humans on the
    functioning of natural ecosystems. The
    sustainable harvesting and use of natural
    resources, the implications of human population
    growth and size, and the transformation of
    ecosystems through human activities and policies
    are examined in this ecological context.

2
Grades are assigned on the basis of performance
on Undergraduate credit Graduate
credit in-class midterm examination 25 25 es
say I field trip write-up 15 15 essay II
assigned topic 25 term paper 25 in-class
final examination 35 35
  • The two in-class exams will be a mixture of
    short answer, essay questions graphs.
  • The first written assignment is a lab write-up
    for data collected on the field trip those
    unable to attend will have a slightly different
    assignment.
  • The second essay is for undergraduates and will
    be limited to five double-space pages.
  • Those taking the course for graduate credit are
    instead required to write a 10-15 page term paper
    that will allow you to explore a topic of your
    choice, requiring some outside literature review
    from library and/or internet research.
  • A Saturday field trip to a nearby forest will
    examine ecological methods and concepts data
    collected will be presented and discussed in the
    first written assignment.
  • For all written assignments, drafts are to be
    handed in for suggested improvements before the
    final version is submitted for grading.

3
Writing-intensive courses at Harvard Extension,
such as Fundamentals of Ecology, offer students
the opportunity to develop their writing skills
in the context of a particular academic
discipline, and they all feature common elements.
  • Students will
  • --develop core writing skills, as defined by the
    instructor, in the discipline of the course
  • (Field trip write up scientific essay or term
    paper)
  • --complete multiple writing assignments of
    varying lengths, at least 2 of which must be
    revised (Drafts of both these assignments are
    required)
  • --produce a minimum of 10-12 pages of writing,
    exclusive of the required revisions, over the
    course of the term
  • --meet at least once in individual conference (in
    person, by phone, or electronically) with the
    instructor or TA to discuss writing in progress
    (Schedule with your TA)
  • --and receive detailed feedback on their drafts
    and revisions, on both content and expression.
    (These will be annotated on drafts and revisions)

4
Textbooks and Readings
  • The required textbook (available at the Harvard
    Coop or Amazon.com) is Essentials of Ecology, 3rd
    edition, by Townsend, C. R., M. Begon J. L.
    Harper.
  • (Note that students wishing a slightly more
    advanced, longer and expensive treatment can
    elect to substitute Ecology From Individuals to
    Ecosystems, the same authors but in different
    order (Begon, Townsend Harper), and available
    at the same two sources. The organization of the
    two books and the concepts and examples closely
    mimic each other, but note that reading will only
    be assigned from Essentials of Ecology. Note
    that this substitution is not recommended, but
    very easily done if a student so wishes.)
  • In addition, expect a few short journal
    articles to be assigned as required reading to
    illustrate some relevant field research studies
    for essay assignments. These will be available
    as PDF files and placed on the class web site in
    advance of the lecture for which they are
    relevant.
  • Some supplementary readings and materials of
    interest may also be posted on the website

5
ENVR E-140 Fundamentals of Ecology Course
Outline
  • Date Topic Assigned Reading
  • Sep 18 Introduction Case Study on Ecology of
    Bornean Rainforests T,BH chap. 1
  • Sep 25 The Ecological Context of Evolution
    Adaptation T,BH chap. 2
  • Oct 2 Adaptations to Environmental Conditions
    and Resources T,BH chap. 3
  • Oct 4 or 11 Saturday field trip to Estabrook
    Woods, Concord, MA (approx. 8am-5pm)
  • (Note rain make-up on Sunday Oct 5th or 12th)
  • Oct 9 Distribution of Earths Biomes T,BH
    chap. 4
  • Oct 16 Population Ecology Demography T,BH
    chap. 5
  • Oct 23 Population Ecology (cont.) / Competition
    Theory T,BH chap. 6
  • Essay I draft of field trip write-up due
  • Oct 30 Ecology of Predation, Grazing
    Disease T,BH chap. 7
  • Essay I drafts returned for revision

6
ENVR E-140 Fundamentals of Ecology Course
Outline
  • Date Topic Assigned Reading
  • Nov 20 Community Ecology T,BH chap. 9
  • Proposed term paper topics submitted by graduate
    students
  • Nov 27 Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Dec 4 Sustainability/Human Population
    Ecology T,BH chap. 12
  • Essay II assigned to undergraduates
  • Dec 11 Resource Energy Cycling Anthropogenic
    Pollution T,BH chap. 11, 13
  • Draft of term paper due from graduate students
  • Dec 18 Patterns Determinants of Species
    Richness T,BH chap. 10
  • Essay II draft due
  • Jan 8 Conservation Ecology and Spatial
    Planning T,BH chap. 14
  • Essay II final copy due from undergraduates
  • Final version of term paper due from graduate
    students

7
The Field Trip Assignment
  • Oct 4th/11th Saturday field trip to Estabrook
    Woods, Concord, MA (8am-5pm)
  • (note rain make-up on Sunday Oct 5th/12th, or
    following weekend)
  • Field review of ecology of forest types 20
    miles west of Boston
  • Field exercise Sampling Forest Vegetation at
    Estabrook Woods
  • sample trees by both plot and plotless methods
  • identify using floristic keys
  • map measure dbh (diameter at breast height)
  • calculate density, dominance and importance
    value
  • Data collected by student teams will be
    collated into tables summary statistics
    calculated and presented (use of Excel
    spreadsheet format recommended, but not required)
  • Write up comprised of Introduction, Methods,
    Results, Discussion
  • lt 5 double-spaced pages of text (not including
    tables)

8
Assignment for those who do not attend the field
trip
  • Choose one of two options
  • Write up the data collected by classmates
    attending the field trip
  • extra Results and Discussion section will focus
    on analyzing and interpreting species diversity
  • Sample local vegetation where you live!
  • Incorporate same research design we will use at
    Estabrook Woods, or can modify according to local
    vegetation
  • Identify species, measure dbh, etc.
  • Can be modified if your local habitats are
    treeless, so need to characterize vegetation
    dominated by shrubs or forbsgrasses

9
Ecology in PracticeObservations, Experiments and
Modeling
  • Brown trout in New Zealand
  • Old field succession in Minnesota
  • Nutrient dynamics in New Hampshire forest
  • Primates in Bornean rainforest

10
Brown Trout vs. Galaxias in New Zealand Streams
Waterfalls restrict trout to low
elevations cobbles allow coexistence
11
Brown Trout reduce herbivorous invertebrates,
allowing higher algal biomass on stream bottom
12
Cascading trophic effects of Brown Trout
introductions
13
Old Field Succession at Cedar Creek, Minnesota
Abandoned 1935, dominated by native
perennials Abandoned 1957, many exotic
agricultural weeds
14
Trends with ecological successionbut field age
and nitrogen content are both correlated with
changes in species composition
15
Convergence in species compositionExperimental
fertilization with nitrogen reveals both are
important 17 g N/m2/yr
1 g N/m2/yr
Note that 1 g N/m2/yr is typical annual input
from atmospheric pollution!
16
Hubbard Brook Ecosystem, NH
17
Case study of spatial temporal variation in
rainforest fruit resources from Gunung Palung
National Park, Indonesia
Borneo
18
Forest habitats at Gunung Palung
Because Gunung Palung is a coastal tropical
mountain, altitudinal zonation is compressed and
lower compared to interior mountains
See Cannon Leighton (J. Veg. Sci. 2002) for
floristic comparisons among habitats
19
Plot locations
20
Measuring distribution abundance of fruit
21
Fruiting Phenology mast fruiting (synchronized,
supraannual peaks ) is a feature of Bornean
rainforests
22
Preferred foods
  • vs.

Fallback foods
23
Measuring food availability in space
Peat swamp forest high availability of fallback
fruits Lowland forest types mast fruiting
common Montane forest low fruit availabily
24
Establishing habitat-specific densities of
vertebrates
Alluvium
Montane
Lowland granite
Peat swamp
Upland granite
Freshwater swamp
7 matched pairs of censuses
Lowland sandstone
25
Orangutan distribution and abundance at Gunung
Palung
26
Orangutan density peaks are not correlated
between habitats
High density correlated with mast-fruiting events
in LS AB habitats
Density in peat less variable
27
Mean orangutan density in six forest types (n
4830 censuses over 72 months)
28
All habitats are important in some months
29
Habitat shifts in relation to fruit availability
30
Asynchrony in fruit production indicates
phenological complementarity between habitats
Peat
Peat forest phenology is uncorrelated with the
five other habitats
Lowland
31
Conservation Implications1) ALL HABITATS ARE
IMPORTANT!2) OVERALL POPULATION DENSITY HIGHER
BECAUSE OF HABITAT MOSAIC
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