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Chapter 2 Evolution/Ecology


the change that occurs in organism over long periods of time

natural selection

mechanism of evolution; the explanation for why evolution occurs


how organisms live in their environment

Darwin's book

On the Origin of Species by the Means of Natural Selection

HMS Beagle

vessel Darwin sailed on

Galapagos Islands

place where Darwin observed the remarkable series of related but distinct forms of life

Charles Lyell

written by this great geologist; Principles of Geology

fossils; patterns of life

convinced Darwin that evolution took place

Thomas Malthus

Essay on the Principle of Population; Plants and animals tend to increse geometrically, while food source increase arithmetically

November, 1859

publication of Darwin's book

Alfred Wallace

influenced Darwin to publish his book

Played a key role in Darwin's argument for evolution by natural selection

Galapagos finches

Peter and Rosemary Grant

studied beak shape; found that it did change from year to year

ground finches

six species; feed on seeds; bill size related to size of seeds eaten

tree finches

5 species; insect - consumers; 4 species have bills suitable for eeding on insects; one carries a twig/cactus spine to probe for insects

vegetarian finches

heavy bill

warbler finches

same ecological role on Galapagos as on the mainland

levels of ecological organization

groups of organisms at progressive levels


individuals of the same species lving together


populations of different species that live together in the same place


the interaction of a community and the physical environmental factors


major terrestrial assemblages of plants, animals, and microorganisms that occur over a wide geographical areas that have distinct physical characteristics


all the world's biomes, along with the marine and freshwater assemblages

food chain

the flow of energy throughan ecosystemfrom plant to herbivore to carnivore


the sum total of all the ways organisms use the resources of its environment

resource partitioning

species living in the same geographic area avoid competition by occupying different portions of the habitat, or by consuming different food or other resources

character displacements

the changes that evolve in two species to reduce niche overlap- to lessen the degree to which organisms compete for the same resources

innate capacity

the rate at which a population will grow when no limits on its rate of growth

realize rate of population increase (r)

the number of individuals added to the population minus the number lost from it


number of individuals added to a population (new inidividuals entering and residing with a population)


individuals leaving a population

r=(birth + immigration) - (death + emigration)

equation forr the realize rate of population equals the number of individuals added to a population minus the number of individuals leaving a population

population growth rate (rN)

r is the realized rate of population and N is the number of individuals in the population

exponential growth

number of individuals at first grows rapidly; graph represents J curve

carrying capacity (K)

the number of individuals that can be supported at tht place indefinitely

logistic growth equation

population growth rate = rN(K-N/K)

sigmoid growth curve

a period of exponential growth; population approaches its environmental limits, growth slows and finally stabilizes, fluctuating around the carrying capacity of the environment

life history strategy

adaptations thta adjusts an organism's reproductive rate to its environment

r - selective adaptations

large number of offspring, no parental care, rapid growth, short life span

K-selective adaptations

few offspring, prolonged parental care, slow growth and maturation, long life span

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