Ecology is the study of a community of biota, including the interactions with abiotic factors such as soils, water, and meteorological factors. The field of ecology addresses interactions of plants and animals including feeding behavior, selection of nesting or denning sites and competition among species. Time changes are particularly important, such as landscape changes arising from plant succession. Conservation of habitats is analyzed in order to determine the viability of not only individual species, but of the entire assemblage of flora, fauna and micro-organisms in a given ecosystem.
The Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is a vulnerable species within the cat family. While the fastest land animal and an adept hunter, this felid is not agressive...
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, CanadaLast Updated on 2014-12-08 19:23:12The contiguous national parks of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho, with the adjoining Mount Robson, Hamber and Mount Assiniboine provincial parks (50°34'-53°28'N, 115°10'-119°32'W), are World Heritage Sites located at the continental divide of the central Rocky Mountains at their highest point. They protect an approximate linear extent of 400 kilometres (km) of forested mountain landscape studded with dramatic peaks, glaciers, lakes, cascades, canyons and limestone caves,. The Burgess Shale fossil site, inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1980 and noted for its fossil remains of soft-bodied marine fauna, is within Yoho National Park.
The parks are a 400 km long continuous belt of protected areas bestriding the central Rocky Mountains at their highest, along the British Columbia-Alberta border. The ridge axis extends from north to south: Jasper... More »
Species diversityLast Updated on 2014-12-07 19:11:57
Species diversity is a measure of the diversity within an ecological community that incorporates both species richness (the number of species in a community) and the evenness of species' abundances. Species diversity is one component of the concept of biodiversity.
Species diversity is influenced by species richness. All else being equal, communities with more species are considered to be more diverse. For example, a community containing 10 species would be more diverse than a community with 5 species.
Species diversity is also influenced by the relative abundance of individuals in the species found in a community. Evenness measures the variation in the abundance of... More »
TurtleLast Updated on 2014-12-07 16:28:36
To look at a Snapping turtle with its horny shell and scaley tail, you might imagine that you are glimpsing a dinosaur. In fact, turtles are even older than dinosaurs and were common on earth 50 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared.
The scientific name for turtles, comes from the Latin testudo, which means tortoise. Six reptile families of the order Testudines are represented in Canada: Chelydridae, Emydidae, Dermochelyidae, Cheloniidae, Trionychidae, and Kinosternidae.
The world's 250 turtle species all share certain traits. They all have four feet, ribs fused to their shell, and leg bones that are tucked into their body cavity. A turtle's head and extremities can ordinarily be pulled into the shell for protection. In species where this is not possible, other methods of defence are used. For example, the snapping turtle has very powerful snapping... More »
BiogeographyLast Updated on 2014-11-30 22:10:52Biogeography is the study of the spatial distribution of biological organisms. The scale of analysis ranges from very small micro-topography regimes to continental dimensions. Fundamental concepts in this field of study are the nature of barrier formation and response of species in their patterns of travel and migration; in particular, the presence of rivers, mountain ranges, deserts and other natural boundaries are examples of large scale barriers. Besides such major landform barriers, there are soil, topographic and meteorological factors that influence the distribution of each species. In the case of smaller scale regimes that are applicable for some bacteria or limited range plant species, there are often very restricted niches; for example, certain bacteria extremophiles may be limited to such localized features as small geyser pools, and some rare plants may have a single extant... More »
StreamLast Updated on 2014-11-30 22:08:37
Streams alter the Earth's landscape through the movement of water and sediment (Figure 1). Streams are powerful erosive agents moving material from their bed and banks. In mountainous regions, stream erosion often produces deep channels and canyons. Streams also deposit vast amounts of sediment on the terrestrial landscape and within lakes and ocean basins.
Geomorphologists often view streams as systems. The stream system, like almost all environmental systems, is open to both inputs and outputs of various types of materials. Water enters the stream system by direct precipitation in the channel, from runoff, throughflow, and by groundwater flow. The movement of water into a stream also carries with it dissolved and solid materials eroded from the surrounding landscape, stream banks, and the stream bed. Sediments carried by streams to lower elevations are occasionally... More »
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