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Biology 373 – Ecology Professor: Eric R. Pianka An introduction to ecology, the study of relationships among organisms and between organisms and their environment; adaptations, population, communities, and ecosystems. Includes both plants and animals and both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Three lecture hours and one discussion hour a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Biology 325 or 325 H with a grade of at least C. http: //www. utexas. edu/courses/bio 373/ Download Syllabus from above site
Biology 373 – Ecology Professor: Eric R. Pianka Office: Patterson 125, Mon. , Fri. 1 -2 PM 471 -7472, [email protected] utexas. edu Instructor and Course Websites: http: //uts. cc. utexas. edu/~varanus/ http: //www. utexas. edu/courses/bio 373/ Download Syllabus from above site
Teaching Assistant: Office: Patterson Office Hours: [email protected] com Discussion Sections Wednesday 10 -11 Wednesday 11 -12 Friday 9 -10 Friday 10 -11 (Will not meet Friday, start next week)
Pianka, Evolutionary Ecology, 6 th or 7 th editions You can also read these on line at Blackboard’s “Course Documents” Please Read Chapter 1 Chapter 8 “Scientific Methods” “Natural Selection” [Also, please look over Chapters 2 through 7 to make certain you are familiar with that background material]
For this generation, who must confront the shortsightedness of their ancestors. . .
Suggested Additional Reading An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology Case, An Illustrated Guide to Theoretical Ecology (read pp. 79 -100) Ted J. Case Gotelli, A Primer of Ecology (pp. 2 -85) Ginzburg and Golenberg, Lectures in Theoretical Population Biology (read pp. 1 -5 and 193 -219)
Exams: First Exam: 4 Oct. Second Exam: 1 Nov. Third Exam: 6 Dec. Final Exam: 17 December, 2 -5 PM Best 2 of 3 = 50% + Final 50% [No “Make Up” Exams!]
Grades: Three hour exams 4 Oct. 1 Nov. > Best 2 of 3 = 50% 6 Dec. Final 50% : 17 December, 2 -5 PM +/- Grading System will be used [No “Make Up” Exams!]
Politicians and other advertisers equate ecology with “beer cans and pollution” and environment with “clean air and clean water, ” in short the human environment. Anthropocentric. All other organisms have environments, too. Environment is defined as all the physical and biotic factors impinging upon a particular organismic unit, as well as everything affected by that organismic unit.
An organismic unit could be an individual, a population, or even all of the organisms living together in a particular ecosystem, an entire community. These constitute different levels of organization in the biological hierarchy of life. Ecology is defined as the study of the interactions between organisms and their environments.
Ecology requires wild organisms in the natural environments within which they evolved and to which they have become adapted.
Ecology requires wild organisms in the natural environments within which they evolved and to which they have become adapted. Once, we were surrounded by wilderness and wild animals, now we surround them.
Anthropocentrism — humans see themselves at the center of the universe. What good are rattlesnakes?
Snakes in Cages
“Love” in Vials
Captive organisms are out of context, they don’t have a natural environment (they might as well be dead as far as an ecologist is concerned) Henry David Thoreau (1854) Walden “Book of Life” metaphor Holmes Rolston (1985) “Vanishing Book of Life” Humans are just beginning to be able to read it, but its pages are tattered and torn, and entire chapters have been ripped out. Need to save as much as possible (conservation biology), but also must READ it (ecology) before it is gone. Other Earthlings have a right to exist, too.
Hierarchical Organization of the Biological Sciences <—————— Integrative Biology—————>
Hierarchical Organization of the Biological Sciences Please go to course website and read NY Times: “Depth of Time” article Also, please read Nee’s one page commentary in Nature (downloadable pdf)
Daniel T. Haydon
Time and Space Scaling in Ecology Daily movements (home range, territory) Dispersal events (immigration, emigration) Colonization of new areas and habitats Geographic range expansion or contraction Geographical patterns of diversity Daniel R. Brooks
Models may be verbal, graphical, or mathematical Model: mere “caricatures of nature” (all models are imperfect) Trade offs in construction of m odels precision generality realism