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Transcript of ecological application
at the Level of Organisms and Single-Species Populations
at the Level of Population Interactions
at the Level of Communities and Ecosystems
Life, death & life histories
Dispersal, dormancy & metapopulation
Decomposers & detritivores
Parasitism & disease
Symbiosis & mutualism
Flux of energy & matter through ecosystems
We restrict our consideration here to restoration
of landscapes and waterscapes whose physical nature has been affected by human activities, dealing specifically with mining, intensive agriculture and water abstraction from rivers.
Candidate plants for reclamation are those that are tolerant of the toxic heavy metals present; such species are characteristic of naturally metalliferous soils (e.g. the Italian serpentine endemic
Sometimes the aim of land managers is to restore the landscape for the benefit of a particular species. The European hare
provides a case in point.
Vaughan et al. (2003) used a farm postal survey (1050 farmers responded) to investigate the relationships between hare abundance and current land management.
Their aim was to establish key features of the two most significant niche dimensions for hares, namely resource availability (crops eaten by hares) and habitat availability
, and then to propose management action to maintain and restore landscapes beneficial to the species.
One of the most pervasive of human influences on river ecosystems has been the regulation of discharge, and river restoration often involves reestablishing aspects of the natural flow regime.
The rare Colorado pikeminnow,
, is a piscivore (fish-eater) that is now restricted to the upper reaches of the Colorado River.
Its present distribution is positively correlated with prey fish biomass, which in turn depends on the biomass of invertebrates upon which the prey fish depend, and this, in its turn, is positively correlated with algal biomass, the basis of the food web
A number of species have invaded widely separated places on the planet
(e.g. the shrub
, the starling
and the rat
) prompting the question of whether successful invaders share traits that raise the odds of successful invasion.
Life history theory & management
Niche theory & management
Migration, dispersal & management
An understanding of the behavior of species at risk can also assist managers to devise conservation strategies.
A scheme was devised to alter the migration route of the lesser white-fronted geese (
) from southeastern Europe, where they tend to get shot, to spend their winters in
Management based on the theory of
A pest species is one that humans consider undesirable.
involves the application of theory about interactions between species and their natural enemies to limit the population density of specific pest species.
The cottony cushion scale insect, Icerya purchasi, was first discovered as a pest of Californian citrus orchards in 1868.
By 1886 it had brought the citrus industry close to the point of destruction.
(a dipteran parasitoid) from Australia
predatory ladybird beetles (
) from Australia and New Zealand
The global distribution of biodiversity hot spots where exceptional concentrations of endemic species are undergoing exceptional loss of habitat. As many as 44% of all species of the earth’s vascular plants and 35% of its vertebrates are confined to 25 hot spots that make up only 1.4% of its land surface. (After Myers et al., 2000.)