FRWS 3810 Plant and Animal Population Ecology

FRWS 3810 Plant and Animal Population Ecology

FRWS 3810 Plant and Animal Population Ecology Dr. Jennifer Gervais, instructor Craig Thompson, teaching assistant Syllabus in brief Course Objectives Define population ecology as a science Understand its relationship to evolution, ecology, management, and conservation

Understand basic concepts of population structure growth, and dynamics Compare and contrast population ecology between animals and plants TEXTS There is no textbook for class Readings will be drawn from many sources All will be available on electronic Course Reserves and as hard copies on reserve in the Quinney Library The lab text: Donovan and Weldon, 2002. Spreadsheets

in Conservation Biology and Landscape Ecology Laboratory Sessions These will be in Quinney Computer Lab Room 306 (NOT 304). Lab assignments will be handed out at the beginning of the session and are due at the beginning of the following session These are worth 20% of the final grade Policy on working together

Other Graded Work Two mid-term exams each worth 20%, cumulative to exam The final exam worth 25% of final grade Sneak-attack quizzes (review notes prior to class!) 15% (lowest grade dropped) Ungraded writing assignments used to adjust overall grades at the finish Resources

The class web page (http://www.cnr.usu.edu/faculty/jgervais) Lecture outlines Supplementary material Links to other resources Office hours Dr. Gervais Office Hours: 12:00-1:30, MW, BNR 177 Craigs Office Hours: 2:00-3:30, W, JQL 227 Or, call or email us for an appointment Tips for Success

Read lecture outline and bring it to lecture Review your notes daily! Ask when you dont understand Read the assigned reading, take notes Make flashcards Practice explaining the main points of lectures

and labs to a friend Sketch graphs and figures and explain them DONT WAIT TIL THE LAST MINUTE SO, Population Ecology. What is it? The branch of ecology concerned with the structure and dynamics of populations Just what is a population, anyway?

Defining a population can be tricky It is defined differently in different fields In statistics, it is a group from which we wish to draw inferences In genetics, it is a group of interbreeding individuals of the same species, isolated from other groups In population ecology, it is a group of individuals of the same species in the same area Which of these are populations? What kind of populations are they?

The collection of people in this room A stand of aspen Aphids inhabiting the same shrub A group of voles living on an island Sagebrush on Mount Logan Swans wintering within Cache Valley

Population ecology is linked to many other biological disciplines Community ecology Landscape ecology Conservation Population Population biology Ecology genetics Resource

management Evolution Fundamentally, however, studies of populations are interested in the same basic processes regardless of the scientific discipline: How do we take information regarding individuals and draw inferences to groups of individuals? Individual Characteristics: AGE

STAGE SIZE SEX BEHAVIOR Population characteristics: NUMBERS DENSITY AGE/STAGE DISTRIBUTION SEX RATIO SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION

Individual Processes: DEVELOPMENT GROWTH FEEDING REPRODUCTION DEATH Population Processes: POPULATION GROWTH CHANGES IN NUMBERS CHANGES IN DENSITY CHANGES IN AGE DISTRIBUTION

MORTALITY Summary Population biology deals with populations of organisms; definitions are context-specific. Population biology touches on many other disciplines, including conservation, management, landscape ecology Population biology seeks to infer processes and characteristics of groups of organisms from processes and characteristics of individuals

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