Why Trees Need Salmon
General Questions (shared by all groups):
1. Compare the terms ecosystem, community, species, and population as they relate
2. What is the difference between exponential and logistic growth? What are some
density-dependent factors that keep populations from growing exponentially indefinitely?
What are some density-independent factors?
3. What is an ecological niche? What happens when two species have identical niches?
How does the fundamental niche differ from the realized niche?
4. Explain an example of resource partitioning, and explain how natural selection
can lead to character displacement.
5. Describe an example of each of the three types of symbiosis discussed in your
6. Explain how energy moves through the living components of an ecosystem (starting
with primary productivity and including a discussion of food webs and ecological
7. Explain how water, carbon, and nitrogen cycle through ecosystems, and give
at least one example for each of how human activities can alter the cycle.
8. Seven different biomes are described in your textbook. If you were in charge
of global ecosystem conservation but were told you had to focus all of your resources
on preserving two of the seven types of biospheres, which would you choose, and
Specific to “Salmon Case Study”:
Please download and read the attached pdf file (Why
Trees Need Salmon article) before starting these questions. You may then use
any additional information you can find to complete the assignment.
1. Give a clear definition of the term Keystone Species. Do you think salmon qualify
as a keystone species? Explain your reasoning.
2. Give an overview of the life cycle of the anadromous salmon species found off
of the Pacific coast of the United States.
3. In California, Coho salmon are classified as an Endangered Species and cannot
be fished, and the entire salmon fishery off of the California coast has been
closed for the past two years. Identify and explain the major factors implicated
in the decline of California salmon populations.
4. Using information from the article included below and any other sources, explain
how salmon are ecologically important to the terrestrial environment as well as
the stream and ocean habitats in which they live. Describe some specific evidence
supporting this role.
5. What are some steps (at least 3) that should be taken to help California salmon
recover to their previous population sizes.