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, 101 Roberts 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: Essentials of Ecology by Townsend, Begon &
Harper is required. Any other reading will will be posted as
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 quizes on computer exercises: 20% 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. There will also be at least one take-home problem set (on demography) that is not based on a computer lab. Together, these homework assignments account for 20% of the 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.
||definition, levels of
analysis, types of ecological
Rainfall and NPP example from NASA earth observatory dataset
forces, selection & response,
proximate/ultimate causation example -
bat sonar 1
bat sonar 2
Adaptive radiation example - WP finch
Fox color selection example, Maze-learning heritability in rats example
Types and levels of selection - gene (yes), individual (yes), group (no), kin-group (yes).
An example of the logical flaw in group selection arguments
OH set 2
Evolutionary forces and population differentiaton: GenX simulation (help available in Roberts 109
TU 1/22 11-12, 5-6, WE 1/23 1-2)
Short QUIZ using GenX IN CLASS WED 1/23. There is no homework to turn in for the exercise. Work through it until you have a good understanding to prepare for a short quiz in class.
physical processes, biomes
Animation of Hadley cells, atmospheric pressure, and precipitation - spatial and seasonal patterns of precipitation at the global scale
Coriolis effect on surface winds
Animal Physiological Ecology
ecology - some adaptive solutions to temperature
and water limitation
Plant Physiological Ecology
Plant physiological ecology - adaptive solutions to abiotic problems of water and temperature
OH set 5
|Global H20 cycles: PET
Carbon cycles, radiation budgets, anthropogenic effects, abiotic & ecological response
Ice core CO2 data, 800,000 yr
Vostok ice core
Most recent Keeling curve from NOAA
Ecological responses to climate change
Fitter & Fitter 2002 - plant phenology (see fig 1 & table 1)
Diamond et al 2011 - butterfly phenology
(& IPCC GCM emission scenarios)
OH set 6
tables, population growth and life history trade-offs
(using reproductive value)
survivorship, fecundity, Ro, T, r
HW2: DUE DATE CHANGE: This will be DUE FRIDAY 22nd in class, turned in before the test, so that we can cover reproductive value in class before you do the HW.
Key for HW2
February 22nd. Date is set
Scores will be posted here when I get them
Guide for Exam 1
AND CLASS GRADES AS OF 2/27/13
UPDATED 3/4/13 (+3 points for version A)
|Exponential vs density dependent growth||exponential
growth, limitation and regulation
|Verhulst-Pearl, linear density dependence||
Wildebeest example. Part 2
Nonlinear density dependence - theta logistic example
(This example spreadsheet was updated to extend the example on 3/1/13).
competition, competition coefficients, Lotka-Volterra
POPULUS EXERCISE: COMPETITION There will be a TA in Roberts 109 computer lab on WED 3/6 from 12 to 1 and 4 to 5, and on THU 3/7 from 2 to 3 cover explain the exercise and answer questions. Short in class quiz over the Lotka-Volterra model of interspecific competition on FRI 3/8.
Plant competition 2
of competition unique to plants
|African wild dog case study|
principles and 4 case studies
prior to Exam 2 (current thresholds
are approximately 87 A, 80 B, 70 C, 60 D)
WEDNESDAY March 27th-
exact date will be confirmed in class. Covers
exponential growth, density dependent growth, interspecific competition and niches.
compensation vs additivity, harvest models
Creel & Rotella 2010, Sparkman 2011 examples
2011 USWFS N Rockies wolf annual report
- for figures only, 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
OH set 13
Functional & numeric response
and numeric responses, empirical
data on predator-prey cycles
Some things just have to be seen to be believed...
POPULUS EXERCISE: PREDATION - TA will be in Roberts 109 on Tuesday April 9th at 9:00, 3:00 and 5:00 to answer questions. Quiz in class on Wedneday April 10th on the L-V predation model.
Note that the axis labels are reversed on
the P vs N plot in Populus 5.4: P is predator
numbers, N is prey numbers.
2 GRADES AND WEIGHTED CLASS GRADES AS OF
Grade cutoffs are: 87 A, 86 A-, 85 B+, 82 B, 80 B-
78 C+, 71 C, 67 C-, 60 D, 50 F
|Wolf-Elk case study||
Effects of predators on prey other than direct predation
|Community and Ecosystem structure and function||Biodiversity
Island Biogeography Notes, Slides
Community Structure 2
|Updated grades with everything except final exam.|
|EXAM 3 during finals week
8:00 am, MONDAY April 29th
In the normal room
guide for final exam, through predation. 8-10
review questions, about 20 questions on the material in
this guide, and 8-10 questions on community and