Week 3 Population Ecology & Evolution - Lake Harding Association

Week 3 Population Ecology & Evolution

Week 3 Population Ecology & Evolution

By Micah Moen 0 Comment February 28, 2020


Human populations have grown from 1
billion in the year 1800 to 7.6 billion in the year 2018, causing profound changes
to the natural world. These changes can affect species differently. For example, some species adapt well to urban environments while others do not,
potentially leading to their extinction. So can we predict which species will
adapt well and which will not? Answering this question requires an understanding of both ecology (how species respond to biotic and abiotic factors in their environment) and evolution (changes in the heritable characteristics of populations
over generations) This week, our focus is on populations and species. Online you’ll learn about some of the ecological principles important for studying populations of species, such as size, density, distribution, and age structure. We’ll also learn the fundamentals of evolution and answer critical questions
like: What are the mechanisms that underlie evolution? How does evolution
result in the formation of new species? What evidence do we have that evolution
has occurred and continues to occur? In lecture and lab, we will apply these
principles of ecology and evolution to better understand humanity’s effects on the populations of some species that live in our own backyard, like the mountain lions living in the Santa Monica Mountains as well as a variety of
plants and animals living in the nearby Arroyo Seco.

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