Objectives for Chapter 2:  Ecological Concepts.

After reading the chapter and attending the lecture, you should be able to

1.      define and characterize the concept of the ecosystem.

2.      give an example of how the biota of one ecosystem can influence another, e.g., neotropical migrants.

3.      characterize ecosystem structure, including species richness, diversity, and evenness.

4.      define and give an example of each level of biological organization, including:  species, population, ecosystem, community, biome.

5.      define and give an example of a metapopulation.

6.      give a general review the major biogeochemical cycles (nitrogen, carbon, hydrological, sulfur, phosphorus).  Be sure to include important chemical species and organisms essential to the cycle.

7.      give a review of the concept of trophic levels, food chains, etc.

8.      describe typical examples of terrestrial and aquatic succession (primary and secondary).

9.      give an example of how an intentional disturbance might be used to manage a particular species, e.g., Kirtland Warbler.

10.  explain why the ecological niche can be described as an organism’s “profession”.

11.  define and give examples of inter- and intraspecific competition.

12.  summarize the competitive exclusion principle.

13.  contrast the fundamental and realized niche.

14.  contrast the concepts of habitat, home range, geographic range, and territory.

15.  give an example of a limiting factor for a species of your choice.

16.  would male robins in the spring exhibit a random, clumped, or uniform distribution pattern?

17.  contrast dispersal and migration.

18.  identify on a map and name the six major zoogeographic regions.

19.  give examples of species found in PA that are exotic, transplanted, introduced, indigenous, naturalized, feral, and restored.

20.  describe how habitat corridors might be useful in maintaining biodiversity in the face of habitat fragmentation.

21.  explain why an ecotone would likely have more species present than the climax forest it borders.

22.  give an example of a generalist and a specialist from each of the five classes of vertebrates.

23.  summarize the concept of optimal foraging.

24.  answer the Practice Questions on page 57.

25.  define the following terms:







tertiary consumer



climax community

seral stage





multidimensional niche



landscape ecology