Questions and Assignments to Lecture 1

1.1. What is the relationship between population ecology and community ecology, landscape ecology, systems ecology, population genetics, and population biology (describe common problems and major differences)?

1.2. Can you define what is a "good" model and what is a "bad" model? Be careful in your definitions: it may happen that the class of "good" models will be empty!

1.3. What is a population and a population system?

1.4. What ecological characteristics of organisms change during the life cycle? Consider several examples: a bacteria, insect, mammal, and a plant.

1.5. What are ecological differences between males and females? 1.6. Is it possible to find similarity in variability?

1.7. Describe elements of the temporal and spatial structures in a population system.

1.8. Why factor-effect models are not appropriate for studying population systems?

1.9. Describe a population system that you wish to study in the future (it may be a natural or a laboratory population). Specify factors and processes and their interactions. Draw a diagram with factors in rectangles and processes in ovals, show interactions with arrows.

1.10. Draw a Petri net for a 3-level trophic interactions: an autotrophic population (algae or plant) consumes several mineral components from soil (or water), the second population feeds on that autotrophic population, and the third population feeds on the second one. All three populations should grow in numbers.

1.11. Write differential equations for the following Petri nets assuming that the rate of all processes correspond to the mass action law:

Alexei Sharov 1/12/96