You are on page 1of 77

LSM2251 Ecology & the Environment Section II: Individuals

1. Temperature Relations
2. Water Relations (read summary on your own), 3. Energy and Nutrient Relations

4. Social Relations

1. Temperature Relations
Molles, Chapter 5

1.1 Concepts

Organisms are adapted to function in a specic temperature range. The dynamic nature of the earths environmental history has resulted in migration, refugia and extinction.
2

1.1 Concepts

Macroclimate conditions and the local landscape produce microclimatic variability. Species function most effectively at a specic temperature range. Extreme episodes can be overcome by dormancy.

1.2 Microclimate variation



What is macroclimate? What is microclimate?

1.2 Microclimate variation

What is microclimate?

Elevation (altitude): Aspect (topography):


e.g. vegetation (right); Negev desert - moss cover on cooler (1.8-9.2 C), more moist slopes.

Rock periwinkles

Boulders/burrows; crevices in rocks


Woodland (N-facing) vs Grassland 5

1.2 Microclimate variation


The mounds of the mud lobster (Thalassina anomala) in Singapore mangroves may be up to 3 metres in height and their structure provides key habitats for many organisms, e.g.:

the ant Odontomachus malignus, the Tree-climbing crab Episesarma spp. the Mangrove mud shrimp Wolffogebia
phuketensis, the spider Idioctis littoralis, the le snake Acrochordus granulatus, social insects (e.g., termites), ferns and the tree, Excoecaria agallocha

1.2 Microclimate variation

What is microclimate?

Vegetation: shade and leaf litter created by vegetation.

Singapore endemic freshwater crab, Johora singaporensis

Even in dry weather, there is still a trickle of water

10

1.2 Microclimate variation

Boulders and burrows Thermal stability

11

The rocky shore environment is heterogenous

12

2005 data from Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico - uniform environment within the soil

Niah Caves, Sarawak - the uniform environmental conditions in caves, led to their use by early man.
13

1.3 Temperature and Performance


Total Heat =
Metabolic heat (+) Conduction (+/-) Convection (+/-) IR Radiation (+/-) Evaporation (-)

14

1.3 Temperature and Performance


Photosynthesis - optimal temperatures vary.

Enzymes!
Rainbow trout acetylcholinesterase two peaks: why?
15

1.3 Temperature and Performance


Acclimation: short-term, reversible physiological not genetic
Adaptation? (Evolution)

16

1.4 Temperature regulation

Regulation by balancing heat loss

Do not regulate: poikilotherms Regulate (via external heat): ectotherms Regulate (via metabolic heat): endotherms What are homeotherms?

17

Fish with warmblooded features Circulatory mechanisms to brains and eyes above ambient temperatures - for predation; also in muscles, improving stamina for high-speed swimming.

18

Cost-benet of homeothermy

waste - long-distance: prey, predator function in cool temp fuel for stasis detectable prey

19

Temperature control in poikilotherms


How efcient is basking? How long does the Changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor) spend in the sun?

Green-crested lizard (native)


20

Temperature control in
poikilotherms

Lab vs eld temperatures

21

1.5 Plant adaptations to extreme temperatures



Extreme conditions reveal adaptations. Alpine/tundra Desert,

xerophytic: evapotranspiration > precipitation Limit water loss: leaves anatomy Store water,: succulence Improve water uptake: roots; trichomes

22

Arctic and alpine plants Morphology and arrangement designed to cope with the environment, reduce chill and heat loss Cushion plant, arctic: - grows close to ground (shelter from wind) - reduces SA:V (and radiative heat loss) Desert plants Also shows a variety of adaptations to cope with the various types of heat gain Mangrove plants Show Xerophytic adaptations - being surrounded by brackish water is an extreme environment for a plant.
23

1.6 Temperature regulation in ectotherms

24

Clear-winged grasshopper
http://www.ickr.com/photos/taylar/3664193564/

Photo by Ingrid Taylar

25

Radiative energy - pigmentation adjusted during development Clear-winged Grasshoppers were moving to light to raise their body temperatures by 10 degres C above ambient temperature - this was more than metabolic efciency - what was it?

26

1.7 Temperature regulation in endotherms

27

Thermal neutral zone



Metabolic processes geared to work in a narrow range Amidst varying ambient conditions, production and dissipation of heat is regulated A thermal neutral zone is a band of temperature in which little energy is required for heat regulation

28

Thermal neutral zone

29

Thermal neutral zone


Tropical species

Arctic species

30

Aquatic animal

Water = Heat sink Conserve heat via counter-current mechanism Reduce heat loss from blood by absorbing it back before blood reaches the extremities

Rete mirabilis
31

1.8 Surviving extremes

32

Animal thermophysiology

Thermal homeostasis Temporal heterothermy Bradymetabolism (bradus = slow; tachy = swift) Torpor = state of low metabolic rate and lowered body temperature

33

Heterothermy in hummingbirds

34

Prolonged torpor?

Hibernation - winter sleep Aestivation - summer sleep: snails, slugs, bivalves, crocs, frogs, insect larvae What happens during El Nino?

35

Distribution in ecosystem

36

Section II: Individuals


1. Temperature Relations
2. Water Relations (read summary on your own), 3. Energy and Nutrient Relations

4. Social Relations

37

3. Energy & Nutrient Relations


Molles, Chapter 7

38

3.1 Trophic diversity


In a solar-powered biosphere, the functional groups in an ecosystem are:

Photosynthetic Autotrophs (CO2 + light) Chemosynthetic Autotrophs (CO2 + inorg.) Heterotrophs (organic molecules)

In any ecosystem, identify the components of the trophic levels and construct the food chain. More in ecosystems.

39

3.2 C:N ratio

C:N ratio

Plants - 25:1 Animals, fungi bacteria - 5-10:1

Signicance?

40

3.3 Are plants passive to heterotrophs?



Abrasive silica, tough cellulose and lignin what kind of defense? Cellulose and lignin barriers to digestion what kind of defense? Consumption is not passive, what next?

41

3.4 Limits to consumption


Functional response (Holling, 1959)

Are there limits to energy intake, even in the face of unlimited resources?

42

Limits to consumption
Functional response (Holling, 1959)

Hollings Type II Attack rate (a), handling time (h)


MichaelisMenten equation
43

Energy intake, even in the face of unlimited resources, is limited by internal constraints

44

3.5 Resource allocation



In normal circumstances, organisms have limited access to energy. Natural selection favours individuals more effective at acquiring energy. Resource allocation: an organism has competing energetic demands, e.g.:

fecundity, defense growth (cf. Extinction Game).


45

Resource allocation

Optimal Foraging Theory: how do organisms feed as an optimising process, i.e. do they maximise/minimise some quantity?

energy acquisition water conservation breeding, dispersal

46

Optimal foraging by the North American Bluegill sunsh, Lepomis macrochirus


Werner & Mittelbach (1981)

prey size The sh feeds on some prey, ignores others

http://www.ickr.com/photos/9428166@N03/3483515447/

Photo by Sandy Richard

47

Optimal foraging by the North American Bluegill sunsh, Lepomis macrochirus


Werner & Mittelbach (1981)

theory predicts
Based on energy calculations for the search and handling of prey; lab estimates for handling and encounter times
http://www.ickr.com/photos/9428166@N03/3483515447/

Photo by Sandy Richard

48

Optimal foraging by the North American Bluegill sunsh, Lepomis macrochirus


Werner & Mittelbach (1981)

experimental results

Bluegill selected for uncommon and larger prey as predicted


http://www.ickr.com/photos/9428166@N03/3483515447/

Photo by Sandy Richard

49

4. Social relations
= Molles, Chapter 8: Social Relations

50

4.1 Ecology and Evolution



Behavioural ecology is the study of the ecological basis of animal behaviour. First the fundamentals (VIST): 1. Variation 2. Inheritance 3. Selection 4. Time
51

Selection for a trait leads to species characteristic

52

4.2 When can a trait, confer a disadvantage


(e.g. conspicuous to predators)

but still persist?

53

Mate Choice

Mate choice by one sex and/or competition for mates amongst individuals can result in the selection of specic traits = Sexual Selection

54

4.2 Sexual selection



Intrasexual selection - e.g. male dominance,
usually results in larger males, e.g. elephant seal.

Intersexual selection - e.g. female choice, can


result in exagerated displays, e.g. lyre bird.

Elaboration of trait will extend until balanced by some other source of natural selection.

55

Mate choice and sexual selection in Guppies, Poecilia reticulata

Native to the Caribbean Sexually dimorphic Two predators:

killish, Rivulus hartii: juveniles (headwaters) pike cichlid, Crenicichla alta: adults colourful = mating success increase colourful = predation risk increase
56

Female guppies prefer colourful males

Predation pressure affects expression on male sexual characters (Endler, 1980)


Increased predation

adult Decreased predator

colour!

Male guppies in high predation environments showed a reduced number of spots.

57

Female choice and male competition (Kodric-Brown, 1993)


Attractive male guppies sired more broods than unattractive males In both types (attractive, unattractive) dominant male guppies sired more than subordinate males

58

Other traits in mate choice behaviour (Thornhill, 1981)

Scorpionies, Panorpa spp. Nuptial gifts!

J. C. Lucier
http://www.ickr.com/photos/jlucier/3674318246/in/ set-72157620750928440/

59

What do male scorpionies offer females?

60

Multiple factors in effect, each can dominate under specic circumstances

61

Sociality

Individuals who live in groups exchange resources - the beginnings of sociality. Eusociality - pinnacle of social evolution;

> one generation living together cooperative care of young non-reproductive and reproductive castes

62

Cost-benet analysis of cooperative breeders


Which species are cooperative breeders? Few - about 300 species of birds, some mammals

Why would helpers help? Invest energy in genetically related individuals = inclusive tness (Hamilton, 1964), evolutionary force favouring such selection =kin selection Learning, recruitment, inheritance; coping with resource limitation
63

64

cooperative breeder most offspring stay with parents initially - breeding pair - offspring (non-breeding) helpers - even adopted individuals

helpers defend breeding territory, nest and young


65

when hunting take turns at sentinel duty watch for hawks, snakes, sound alarm rest hunt; listen to sentinel mob predator
66

But helpers not involved in: - nest building - incubation - egg brooding tolerated but increase reproductive success limited territory acceptable investment, 3 out of 25 years
67

Ecological conditions (e.g. availability of food, predator pressure) determine the behaviour favoured by natural selection.

68

Cooperative breeding is a common strategy in arid and semiarid portions of Africa and Australia Young adults put off the start of their own breeding in order to maximize their lifetime reproductive output, and in the process occasionally promote genes identical with their own via kin selection.

69

Environmental constraints, e.g. opportunities for younger birds to breed independently severely limited

- shortage of territory openings, - shortage of sexual partners (generally females), unpredictable availability of resources

70

A three male lion coalition, Kruger National Park

Aug 2008 - three male lions at Shimangwaneni Dam, just south of the Muzandzeni picnic site, Kruger National Park. Photo by Jo,
http://www.parks-sa.co.za/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=27113&start=30

71

A three male lion coalition, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Aug 2008 - three male lions at Shimangwaneni Dam, just south of the Muzandzeni picnic site, Kruger National Park. Photo by Jo,
http://www.parks-sa.co.za/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=27113&start=30

72

The Mapogo [Male] Lion Coalition



Raised by a coalition of ve males [Sparta pride] up to 2005 By 2009, a six male coalition in control of about 3 prides. Killed many large prey, many lions from other prides.

73

Lions: Male coalitions

Females related Males unrelated, related

74

Lions: Male coalitions

75

Lions: Male coalitions


Greater chance of siring young amongst unrelated males Larger related groups have effect of kin selection

76

Multiple factors in effect, each can dominate under specic circumstances

77