Module 2: Ecology and Paleoecology Principles
In this two part activity, students are introduced to the principals of ecology and paleoecology and compare modern ecological relationships with prehistoric ones. In part one, students read about ecological principles such as ecological niches and competitive exclusion, and how these principles can be applied to modern and past organisms. Students answer a series of questions that ask them to apply their knowledge of ecological principles. In the second part, students are introduced to non-analogue biotas and complete a set of exercises using the Neotoma Explorer
By the end of this activity, participants will:
- Gain knowledge about key ecological principles such as niches and competitive exclusion.
- Analyze the relationships between modern and prehistoric biota.
- Learn how to use the Neotoma Explorer.
Context for Use
This is a laboratory type exercise that can accompany a lecture series on climate change and biotic response. It can be be used for any size class since it is on line. Classes of about 20-25 are the most ideal of they are being facilitated by an instructor.This is the second in a series of 7 modules to be used by participants to understand how climate change in the past and future affects the distribution of mammal species. Each module builds on the next to introduce participants to climate patterns, change in climate through time, ecology & paleoecology and the interaction between climate and biotic distributions.
Description and Teaching Materials
Module 2: Ecology and Paleoecology Principles (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 2.3MB Jul5 18)
Teaching Notes and Tips
Short essay on principles of ecology and paleoecology with specific examples.
References and Resources
Nature Education Knowledge Project: Ecology
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis: Kids Do Ecology
Hutchinson, G. E. (1957). Concluding remarks.: Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology.
Semken, H. A., Jr., Graham R. W., and T. W. Stafford, T. W., Jr. (2010). AMS 14C analysis of late Pleistocene non-analog faunal components from 21 cave deposits in southeastern North America. Quaternary International. 217, 240-255.Williams, J. W., & Jackson, S. T. (2007). Novel climates, no-analog communities, and ecological surprises. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 5(9), 475-482