Test Qs

ch19 CH19 only big picture now
1 A case of invasion. Your lab group sampled plants in two different locations on York University campus. At the first location, the grassland, you found the following numbers of different invasive plants species in your 10 quadrats: 5,6,5,5,7,4,4,5,6,6. At the second study site on campus, the forest, you also did 10 quadrats on ground and found the following numbers of non-woody invasive plant species: 2,2,2,1,8,7,5,1,2,6, Write a basic R script to test whether pattern that seems evident in these data are statistically different. Hint: List all steps including: load whatever libraries you need, turn these data into a dataframe for analysis, plot the data, and then analyze it (4 points total – the code is like your ‘explanation’ or show what you know). Write a few sentences at the end with #interpreting what you found in your data viz and analyses (6 points). TIP: Cut and paste your code into R to ensure it works. And the trickiest bit is liking making a dataframe, so google that and get some code.
2 A case of neutrality. Carbon neutrality is a powerful heuristic in encouraging more balanced global practices (as mentioned in CH19). Expain carbon neutrality (2 points). It can also be scaled to the individual. Take two ecological footprint quizzes online (try http://ecologicalfootprint.com and http://www.earthday.org/take-action/footprint-calculator/ and http://calculator.bioregional.com). Record and report your total number of planets needed and also your tonnes of carbon in our answer here (2 points). Given that your carbon footprint is likely not zero, what could you change that would at least reduce your footprint. List two solutions. For each one, clearly link each solution to how it would improve the ecology of your region (diversity, an ecosystem function, extent of invasion, resilience, etc.) (6 points, 3 for each solution). Remember, provide your human solutions but that you are an ecologist and want to explain how the ecology of where you live will also be less impacted.
3 A case of too much good information. You are an ecologist and study interactions in natural systems. However, you also live on the planet and recognize that people are a big part of global change, and that it is at best hard for people to want to change unless they understand ecology and have their basic needs met too.     The Millenium Ecosystem Assessment was a profound contribution to efforts to link ecology to human well-being based on scientific evidence. If you download just the synthesis report (http://www.millenniumassessment.org/documents/document.356.aspx.pdf), and read through some sections of it, you will absolutely appreciate how throughtful and well done it was. Even just look at the figures in this report. We could spend an entire term just with this document. Select two major ecological findings ane explain each. TIP: For each major finding, cite the page number from the report and the figure number for the markers (4 points). Then, given what you now know as an ecologist, provide a set of solutions for each that will address the issues detected (6 points, 3 for each solution).
4 A case study for ikea. If people read the instructions, many things would be much easier to understand, saves you time later, reduces error, and gets put together correctly, In discussing the species diversity chapter together (CH19), we invoked the concept of community assembly rules. These are a really appealing set of ideas because they could in theory help conservationist and restoration ecologists. Imagine we started a non-profit together entitled ‘ekea’ (the ecological equivalent of ikea and hope they do not sue us). Your first job for our not-for-profit company is to provide a set of simple instructions for community assembly of two important ecosystem types/regions within most urban centers globally: airports and universities. For each one, list the ecological assembly rules that are most important for maintaining positive BDEF in each system – i.e. what rules are most likely to provide you the most number of species (from lecture and CH19). Provide an ikea-style figure for your rules and ensure you use the ideas from CH19 and the associated paper by Srivastava.   The two assembly figures can be sketched or drawn then scanned or photographed and put on a separate page.
5 A case of weak theory. Lottery or neutral models rarely work in nature. However, they likely still have some use in ecology and in many other systems that model or need to understand interactions to predict outcomes. Explain lottery models and when they do apply (4 points). Then explain how we can practically use them in ecology or any other field of research that studies interactions (6 points).
6 A case of stability. Four hypotheses have been proposed to explain the relationship between diversity and function. Explain each. Each is not however equally likely to apply to every ecosystem or even within a region. Design an experiment that explicitly tests this hypothesis set (and contrasts them) that you could practically apply to a region like grasslands in Southern Ontario (areas of Downsview Park or YorkU campus for instance) to determine how species richness and ecological function might relate and how we should thus manage the species in the region that we live and study in. Tip: 4 points for an experiment that tests the relevant and 2 points for how the findings could be used.
Srivastava big picture
7 A case failure to connect. Ecology and conservation biology seem like very similar disciplines of science. However, in the paper by Srivastava, numerous limitations in connecting the best possible ecology to conservation are listed. In other words, ecology is failing to be practical! Not going to happen to us. We know that principled data, useful hypotheses and theories, testable predictions, and framing the scope of inference more broadly ensure that ecology is practical. Given our focus on this approach, we should also be able to connect ecology to restoration ecology like Srivastava did in her paper for conservation. Explain the difference between restoration and conservation (2 points). Explain the solutions that Srivastava proposed for ecologists to consider to better help conservation biologists work with BDEF (2 points). Now, similar to what she did, propose three questions that ecologists could answer for ecologists to consider that will make restoration more effective in working with biodiversity (3 Q each at 2 points each for restoration).
8 A case of supersaturation. Srivastava proposed the very novel concept of saturation as a workable hypothesis for studying BDEF. Explain this hypothesis. It is a really great idea. Practically however, provide an example of how you would test it. In your experiment, I propose we also test the idea of ‘supersaturaton’. In some systems, we are losing species very rapidly. In others, we can envision scenarios wherein we are adding species very, very rapidly. In your experiment, include a test of this idea too. Can there be too much?
9 A case of correlation is causation. The second slide in the PK deck on BDEF illustrates two curves from a paper by Geber in 2010 showing that as human populations increase so do extinction rates of other species. The curves look pretty similar. Briefly explain using practical previous ecological knowledge why correlation could be causation in this case. Then, imagine (hypothetically) a case where a politician is elected that does not accept these ideas and sees only a spurious correlation. Let us assume this politician is more clever than they appear and they know some ecology (or have a paid ecologist that can help them). What ecological arguments could they make that this is not causation. Finally, solve the problem by designing a regional biodiversity experiment that tests whether it is causation and not just correlation.
10 A case of marbles. BDEF is a hypothesis that has almost become a theory. Explain the sampling effect (2 points). The inverse of the sampling effect is the ‘sampling loss effect’ as proposed by Srivastava that species loss will also be non-random.   Explain how she proposes we do better experiments (2 points). Now (for the remaining 6 points), flip it back to the ‘sampling effect’ and how you could assembly or test these ideas for restoration ecology or building better ecological communities.
CH25 CH25 big picture
1 A case of extreme mixing. Elements move among geologic, atmospheric, oceanic, and biological pools at a global scale. The elements CNPS are particularly important. Provide a summary table of the most importance ecological aspects for each element. (4 points). First column lists each element, second column explains the major pool and flux for each, the third column lists its potential ecological effect, and the final column classifies it as mostly direct or indirect on global change. Then for the 6 points problem solving, pick three of the four elements and give a potential solution to its ecological influence (2 points each).
2 A case of correlation. Figure 25.8 is a common phenom throughout global ecology over the last few weeks. A curve shoing human population growth then some measure of global change associated with important ecological dynamics. Correlation is not causation. However, correlation almost always suggests causation. Explain this specific plot as a case example of how ecologists use correlation to infer causation (4 points). Then, solve this problem. Ideally, how we could test whether the patterns identified in this figure, i.e. how could do we identify the causal factor and then how could we test the ecology of this specific issue to provide a solution to promote better ecological function (/6). Hint: check back a bit and see ‘how’ ecologists test ideas.
3 A case of too many cooks in the kitchen. Explain the IPCC to a non-ecologist. What was its purpose, what did it do, and summarize what you think the major findings were in the most recent report. https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf (total 4). It is tricky for everyone to resolve the certainty that global change is due to humans. However, slide 51 of ch25 quotes the report in that it is 95-100% likely humans are responsible. Assume that global change happens for many reasons. Assume it is changing now for some reason (or many). Link two important ecological interactions (processes such as competition, facilitatinon herbivory, etc) are changing now because of global change. Then, link these changes, each one to an ecological maxim or ecological myth (6 points, 3 each: 2 for each changed interaction and 1 for each maxim that matches well).
4 A case of too much of a good thing. Sometimes in ecology with respect to global change, too much of a good thing is also detrimental to ecological function. Select two major processes/elements/greenhouse gases and explain how they have changed recently (use ch25, 4points total). Then, for each given that too much of a good thing can be good at first then less positive later, provide two potential solutions to address the changed ecological interactions that have happened (6 points, 3 each).
5 A case of adaptability. If global change influences the abiotic-biotic interactions for many species, they must adapt or respond in some form. Explain the classes of ways that species can respond to global change and provide two species examples (/4). If we stropped driving cars tomorrow, it is most likelty the lags of greenhouse gases will keep warming up the planet for another 30 years. What could ecologists do to help in term of providing research that can inform managment and solutions. Hint: what do we study and how could this information be useful to the management or assistance of some species (6points).
Global change Parmesan and Yohe
6 A case of different mindsets. Parmesan and Yohe do a fantastic job of explaining and summarizing global change, how to simplify it, and how different experts might think about global change really differently. Explain the challenge that the IPCC report faced with people and experts in different disciplines (4). Then, the solution they provided is amazing. It is worth explain it to in your own words for the reader or anyone (another 4). Then, for the last two points, tell me, did this work for you? Did it convince you that global change is real and if so how could you apply this process to the decisions you have to make in evaluating evidence for any topic? (final 2 points)
7 A case of so meta. I love meta-analyses. I use them to make decisions about health and sometimes ecology too. Explain meta-analysis for someone not in science. (/4). Find any published meta-analysis other than the Parmesan and Yohe example and explain how it solved an ecological problem. (/6) Tip: Cite the paper you found in your answer, identify the ecological challenge that the meta was about was solving by doing the meta-analysis.
8 A case of UNlikelihood. In the deck for the Parmesan and Yohe paper, slide 19 highlights a major and surprising finding of unlikelihood. Explain why testing with more species did match the assumptions of statistics and likelihood (4 points, check paper too for explanation). Practically, how could this hopeful finding be used to inform future ecological studies of key processes that are changing with global change (6 points, pick 2 key processes and how this finding can change the experiments we do for this theory, 3points for each idea).
9 A case of the top 100. As the year ends, the top 100 countdowns begin. In ecology, there was paper listing the 100 most important questions that we including you must answer. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2745.12025/abstract Do you accept the challenge? I do. Select two questions from the list, explain each, and then explain why you think they are the most important two questions to answer right now (4points). Given what you discovered in this course through reading some fundamental principles in a textbook then reading one paper each that hopefully showed successful application, how can do an experiment with half-a-million dollars (CDN) to best answer one of these questions. Hint: Think about campus ecology and what you did a scientist but you actually have funding to do more than just a survey. You still have only one planet to work with, but design a superb experiment to answer one of these questions in a way that links to changing the managment and conservation that can be done with what you discovered.
10 A case of Trumpedness. Well, likely not best news for ecological function globally on the planet. Give this paper a quick skim, https://arxiv.org/abs/1611.03787, and then read up online about ‘ecological inference’. It was not what I expected at all. Explain ecological inference (4points). So, we have applied the the concept of niche to cars. Now, the idea of ecological inference was applied to politics. I am sure you have heard the slogan’ think global, act local’. It turns out one of the solutions to ecological inference’ issues is similarly found in the “neighborhood model” statistically. So, take this statistical idea and apply it to ecological processes within the urban context. How can the manage of neighbourhoods withing a big city like the GTA be changed to improve challenges that species face ecologically. Explain two solutions of neighbourhood management that are directly linked to an ecological process we studied together (6points). Remember, we want to manage neighbourhoods to improve ecological interactions that individual species face.