GOALS: This class is intended to provide the following:
1. In-depth understanding of the major areas of population ecology, including demography, single-species population dynamics, density-dependent regulation of populations.
depth understanding of interactions between pairs of species,
including competition, predation (and disease if time allows).
introduction to other areas of ecology, such as community
ecology (diversity and stability, island biogeography,
succession), ecosystem ecology (carbon cycles) behavioral
ecology (territoriality, optimal foraging), and evolutionary
ecology (life history trade-offs).
4. The first
three goals are content-oriented. In addition, the
class has three process-oriented goals:
Hours & Location: 2:10 - 3:00 MWF, 339 LEON JOHNSON HALL.
Dr. Scott Creel, 302 Lewis Hall, Phone:
994-7033 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: MW 10:30 -12:00 or by appointment. If these hours are not convenient, please talk to me after class to arrange another time and we will figure something out. I almost always have time for questions right after class. You're also welcome to email questions (but if you email me just before a test, I might not read it in time).
Text: Elements of Ecology, 8th edition by Smith &
Smith is required. Any other reading will will be posted
via links to pdf files on this web page.
notes: are available
from the links below. I will update these regularly
throughout the semester.
Overheads: the figures that I use in overheads are posted as pdf files in the links below. I occasionally add new material at the last minute, to incorporate new studies, but most of the overheads are in the pdf file links.
%. (Exam 3 will fall in finals week.
A small part of it will be comprehensive, but it will
primarily cover new material) The tests
will mainly be multiple choice questions and perhaps some short
answer. For some material, the tests involve doing calculations,
so bring your calculator on exam days.
Problem sets and/or quizes on computer exercises: 25% Several subjects will include short homework assignments. In these, you will use the methods described in lectures to test ideas with computer simulations of population dynamics or interactions between species. In some cases, a graded homework assignment or a short quiz will be based on the computer exercise. Together, these homework assignments account for 25% of the grade. Doing one optional HW assignment will allow you to drop your lowest HW grade.
Computer Exercises: Some homework assignments will use the
software packages GenX and POPULUS to examine evolution,
population growth, and interactions among species (such as interspecific competition and
predation), in a series of computer labs. POPULUS has simple
simulations that allow you to manipulate the variables in
mathematical models of ecological processes, and see the results
graphically. GenX lets you manipulate evolutionary forces
in two populations. Both are free programs that you can
download and run on your own computer,
You can also run both programs on any MSU networked computer without downloading and installing them. Look for GenX.exe and for the run.bat file in the Populus folder within the Biology 303 folder at \\hopper\labshare (which you can access using 'Map Network Drive' by right-clicking 'My Computer' on any networked machine). To learn about access to software on the MSU local network, see this link: Using Network Drives to Access Software on the MSU network.
lecture notes and reading assignments: Lecture titles will be
linked to lecture notes. We will post each lecture’s
notes after the lecture.
||Definitions of ecology,
levels of ecological analysis, and types of ecological
Rainfall and NPP example from NASA earth observatory dataset, using MODIS satellite data.
forces, selection & response,
proximate/ultimate causation example -bat sonar
Thomson's gazelle & cheetah example
adaptive radiation example - WP finch (evolved to fill an empty niche after colonizing island with no woodpeckers)
Florida panther genetic drift example
Biston betularia color selection example
Fox color selection example (artificial selection by humans),
Maze-learning heritability in rats example
OH set 2
Evolutionary forces and population differentiaton: GenX simulation There is no specific item to turn in from this exercise. Work through it until you have a good understanding of interactions between natural selection, genetic drift and isolation to prepare for a short QUIZ using GenX. HW will be explained and assigned FR 1/23 in class. Quiz over this assignment WED 1/28 in class.
physical processes, biomes
Animation of Hadley cells, atmospheric pressure, and precipitation - spatial and seasonal patterns of precipitation at the global scale
Animal Physiological Ecology
ecology - some adaptive solutions to temperature
and water limitation
Knut Schmidt Nielsen
Plant Physiological Ecology
physiological ecology - adaptive solutions to abiotic
problems of water and temperature
Short quiz in class over abiotic processes (CH 2,6,7, OH set 3,4,5 and associated lectures) IN CLASS WED Feb 11
OH set 5
Study Guide for Animal and Plant Physiological Ecology
anthropogenic effects, abiotic & ecological response
NASA - decadal global temperature anomaly
Keeling Curve, Vostok and other ice core data from NOAA
Ice core temperature reconstruction
GCM structure overview
(IPCC GCM emission scenarios)
Ecological responses to climate change: figures and examples used in class:
Climate envelope approach: one, two.
Fitter & Fitter 2002 - plant phenology (see fig 1 & table 1)
Diamond et al 2011 - butterfly phenology
Burkle et al 2013 Plant bee phenological mismatch
Parmesan & Yohe (2003) global fingerprint
OH set 6
tables, population growth and life history trade-offs
(using reproductive value)
||life history introduction
survivorship, fecundity, Ro, T, r
HW2 (optional, score replaces lowest other HW/quiz grade)
DUE Wed 2/25 in class.
KEY for HW2
Life history trade off examples
8 (as background)
CHAPTER 9 (section 9.2 onward)
CHAPTER 10 (sections 10.1 - 10.6)
GRADES FOR Q1 and Q2 listed by ID number
Exam one will tentatively be Friday February 27th
EXAM ONE SCORES LISTED BY ID NUMBER
Guide for Exam 1
(also see Physiological Ecology study guide posted above)
|Exponential vs density dependent growth||exponential
growth, limitation and regulation
population growth examples
|Verhulst-Pearl, linear density dependence||New
wildebeest example. Part 2
Populus example of linear density-dependent growth, including dynamics of time-lagged density-dependence.
Nonlinear density dependence - theta logistic example
Short quiz in class FR 3/20 over models of density-dependent population growth emphasizing understanding of the 4 plots in the Populus exercise with the Pearl Verhulst model.
| Interspecific competition
competition, competition coefficients, Lotka-Volterra
POPULUS EXERCISE: COMPETITION Short in class quiz in class WE 3/25 over the Lotka-Volterra model of interspecific competition
(sections 14.1 - 14.5)
African wild dog case study
principles and 4 case studies
||CHAPTER 13 (as background)
CHAPTER 14 (section 14.6 -14.11)
Help Session (answering questions) is 11:30 Monday 309 Lewis Hall
Test date is set, Monday 3/30 in class
UPDATED GRADES WITH EXAM 2. I am not allowed to use full GIDs, so these are now sorted by the LAST 4 NUMBERS OF YOUR GID
and red kangaroo example
compensation vs additivity, harvest models and Lotka-Volterra model
Creel & Rotella 2010, Sparkman 2011 examples
2011 USWFS N Rockies wolf annual report
- for figures examining additive/compensatory harvest mortality
Collapse of N.Atlantic cod -risk of FQ harvest & tragedy of the commons
Huffaker 1958 mite experiments with predator - prey cycles - for figures only
lynx hare example
OH set 13
Harvest models, compensation vs additivity, Lotka - Volterra
Functional & numeric response
and numeric responses, empirical
data on predator-prey cycles
POPULUS EXERCISE: PREDATION Brief in class quiz on this exercise FRIDAY 4/17. Basic Lotka Volterra model and the effects of adding: (1) density dependent prey population growth, (2) functional response by predators.
|Wolf-Elk case study||Risk effects - the effects of predators on prey other than direct predation|
Community and Ecosystem structure and function
What determines community diversity?
Diversity and stability
CHAPTER 20 through
OH set 19
|| Update of class
scores prior to final exam. These now include
all grades except the final, replacing low quiz score with
optional HW. The distribution of scores is now:
>= 90 37
Final is in the regular room at 8:00 AM on WED MAY 6
UPDATED GRADES WITH FINAL EXAM.
guide for final