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AP Bio-Forbes- Ecology 1: Behavior

1 of 6 of my Ecology Unit. Image Credits: Biology (Campbell) 9th edition, copyright Pearson 2011, & The InternetProvided under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. By David Knuffke

Shani Forbes

on 3 March 2014

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Transcript of AP Bio-Forbes- Ecology 1: Behavior

Where Are We?
Ecology is the study of organisms interactions with each other and the environment.

Ecological processes occur at multiple levels of organization on Earth.

Each level of organization emerges from the processes of the level below it
Behavior is an Organism-Level phenomenon.
Anything an organism does, and how it does it.
Big Question:
Make Sure You Can
2 Kinds of Behaviors
Behavior Evolves
Behavior Requires Communication
Particularly among animals (who tend to have the most interesting behaviors).

Communication takes many forms. It always involves a
being transmitted and received.

Chemical Signals
Symbolic Signals
Entirely under genetic control-not controlled by the environment; automatic; you're born with these behaviors
Evolutionary Advantages: flexible with the environment, organisms can learn various behaviors
Simple Innate Behaviors
Complex Innate Behavior
5 Types of Learning
Proximate vs. Ultimate Explanations
How is this
Why is this
: The study of behavior

Substances in the environment, or
produced by other organisms can serve as chemical signals

Pheromones can be sexual signals or alarm calls
Multiple lineages of animals have evolved symbolic methods of communication, where information is encoded in abstract symbols (calls, gestures).
Ex: Minnows in a tank responding to an alarm substance (a chemical on the skin of a predatory fish).
Ex: Honeybee workers communicate the location of nectar sources to hive mates via a "
waggle dance
Swagga? More like "Swaggle"
Symbolic communication has increased in complexity and diversity over evolutionary time.
Chemical signals can contribute to very complex behaviors (e.g. ant colonies).
Fixed Action Patterns:
behaviors that are triggered by a "
sign stimulus
", and that are completed once initiated.
Ex: The aggression response in male 3-spine sticklebacks (
.) is initiated whenever an object with a red underside (
.- bottom 4 objects) is presented to a male.
Proximate explanations?
Ultimate explanations?
While there is a limit on the amount of behavioral complexity that can be genetically programmed, there are many examples of complex innate behaviors.
Ex: Mating rituals in Drosophila involve several distinct and complex behaviors.
Graphic Sexual Content
Learning to form social attachments; has both learned & innate components

Critical period-sensitive phase for optimal imprinting
Ex: Imprinting in young geese and other birds.
Proximate explanations?
Ultimate explanations?
Footage of Lorenz and his geese
Most complex type of learned behavior which relies upon multiple mental processes (awareness, recall, reasoning, evaluation) to accomplish.
The establishment of memories that reflect the physical structure of the environment.
Ex: Association of physical markers (pinecone ring) with nest location in Digger wasps.
The spatial education of mouse 109
Proximate explanations?
Ultimate explanations?
Learning through observation and interaction with other individuals.
Ex: A young chimp learns to crack nuts by observing an elder.
Australian children seem really mean
Connecting one environmental feature with another.
Ex: A bluejay learns to associate eating a monarch butterfly with subsequent vomiting.
Proximate explanations?
Ultimate explanations?
B.F. Skinner: "Operant Conditioning"
It would be unwise to think of these two things as completely seperate.

1. Behavior and Genetics
2. Behavior and the Environment
3. Behavior and Fitness
4. Altruism
What is the relationship between an organism's genetics and its behaviors?
There is always a relationship. Even if it is just for the ability to learn.
Ex 1: Insect Calls
Ex 2: Migration
There are many species of Green Lacewing which are morphologically identical.

They can be hybridized in the lab.
Hybrid lacewings have songs that have combined characteristics of both parental species.
The birds from Brittain demonstrated a migratory preference different from native, German, Blackcaps
What is the relationship between an organism's behavior and its environment?
Environmental constraints determine fitness, which includes behavior
Example 1: Foraging
: Food-obtaining behavior.
Natural selection favors minimized energetic cost, and maximized food acquisition ("
optimal foraging theory
Crows demonstrate a food drop preference that is energetically optimized.
Drosophila raised in different population densities evolve different foraging path lengths.
Example 2: Parental Influence
Learned behaviors have to be taught.
Mice cross-fostered by other species show differences in agression responses.
Behavior should increase reproductive success
Mating Systems
Parental Care
Sexual Selection
Game Theory Applications
The mating system has an effect on
sexual dimorphism
in a species
Parental care is influenced by the certainty of paternity
Mate preference of females can drive the evolution of male behavior.
Male competition for mates can have similar effects ("
agonistic behavior
Female zebra finches raised by ornamented males prefer ornamented mates.
"Mate-choice copying":
Female guppies prefer more orange males...unless a less orange male is in courtship with a female. In which case, female guppies prefer that male.
Agonism in Elephant Seals
What guys will do for girls!
...they kind of do...
Game theory is a field of "Behavioral economics", which evaluates the advantages of different strategies.
Example: Side-blotched lizards. Three male forms:
orange-throat: most aggressive, largest territory.
blue-throat: less aggressive, smaller territory.
yellow-throat: non-territorial, sneaky maters.

Orange outcompetes blue. Blue outcompetes yellow. Yellow outcomptest Orange.

"Rock, Paper, Scissors."
Refers to any behavior that an organism engages in which increases the fitness of other organisms while decreasing its own fitness.
Example: vervet monkeys sound alert calls in response to predators.
How can this be explained?
Relatedness. Altruism evolves in populations of closely related individuals.
Inclusive fitness
: anything that increases proliferation of an organism's genes (not necessarily by the organism).
"I would lay down my life for 2 siblings or eight cousins"
-JBS Haldane
Female ground squirrels live closer to their birthplace, where relatives engage in altruistic warning behaviors.
When attacked, members of Naked Mole Rat colonies will sacrifice themselves to preserve the life of the breeding "Queen". All colony members are siblings/cousins.
Why do organisms behave in particular ways?
Provide proximate and ultimate explanations for the behaviors discussed in this presentation.

Compare innate and learned behaviors and provide examples of each.

Describe how a particular behavior can evolve.

Explain how particular behaviors contribute to an organism's fitness.
Pheromone Communication in Ants
Agression and the Betta fish
Proximate explanations?
Ultimate explanations?
Male stalk-eyed flies
Evolutionary Advantages:
no learning curve; allows immediate survival and reproduction
Movement toward (positive) or away (negative) from a stimulus

Phototaxis, rheotaxis, hydrotaxis, chemotaxis

Ex. Trout-positive rheotaxis . Swim in the direction of the current-prevents being swept away and keeps them facing the direction of food.
Random movement due to a stimulus
Learning requires experience, it is controlled by the environment
trial and error learning; animal associates behavior with reward or punishment and repeats or avoids behavior
Ivan Pavlov: "Classical Conditioning"
arbitrary stimulus becomes associated with a particular outcome
Ex. Migration
largely under genetic control.
"migratory restlessness” seen in birds bred & raised in captivity

What causes migration?
If it happens every year, what else can we call it?
: relates to how a behavior occurs.

: relates to why a behavior occurs and the evolutionary significance of the behavior

Ex. Chimps problem solving
Proximate explanations?
Ultimate explanations?
Ex. Young verveet monkeys learn accurate protection calls from the elders.
Ex 3: Fru Gene
The gene fru governs the fly's courtship and mating ritual, including the male fly's ability to recognize a female.
Males with normal copy of fru gene, at right, pursue only females. Males with mutated fru gene, at left, court both sexes, and sometimes form chains with each male courting the one in front of it.
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