Keystone Species, Shrinking Red Knots, and Biomes”Our focus this week is on ecology.  Ecology is the study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their physical environments. For y

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Keystone Species, Shrinking Red Knots, and Biomes”

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Our focus this week is on ecology.  Ecology is the study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their physical environments. For your primary post, respond to one of the following three topics. Also, reply to at least one fellow student on any topic.

Topic 1 :  Keystone Species. Watch the video entitled “Some animals are more equal than others…” (1)* Then completely describe the concept of a keystone species, giving specific examples from the video.  

Topic 2 [articles]: Shrinking Red Knots. Read two of the following three articles about shrinking Red Knots (2)*, (3)*, (4)*, or research additional information on your own. Then, address the following issues:    

  • (a) Explain how the lifecycle of the Red Knot depends on hatchlings emerging at the same time as the insects hatch.  
  • (b) What are the long-term ramifications of having a mismatch between the bird hatch and the insect hatch?  
  • (c) Of the two articles you read, which of them do you feel was most informative?  Why?

Topic 3 [research]: Biomes. The term “biome” is described in the textbook. For this topic, describe the biome where you grew up (or where you currently live). Identify your location, the biome of the region, and describe the major characteristics of that biome. Add enough detail and commentary from your own experience. If you’re really ambitious, you could consider looking up the EPA “ecoregion,” which will give additional details about your region.  

*References (in Strayer Writing Standards format).

  1. HHMI Biointeractive, May 3, 2016, Some animals are more equal than others: keystone species and trophic cascades., https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1142&v=hRGg5it5FMI
  2. Briggs, H. (2016, May 12). Shrinking bird pays the bill for Arctic warming. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36266692
  3. Dussault, J. (2016, May 12). Climate change chould be shrinking these arctic birds. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0512/Climate-change-could-be-shrinking-these-Arctic-birds
  4. Zimmer, C. (2016, May 12). Climate change and the case of the shrinking red knots,. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/science/climate-change-bird-red-knots.html?_r=0

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