Some of my (Theun's) collected notes: not guaranteed to be accurate (and potentially extended…)


(see also category biology)

  • Chemoreception: Ability to perceive chemical signals
  • Phytoncide: volatile compounds, healthy for breathing
  • anthropocentric co-occurence: where humans have transformed how plants and animals relate
  • Aposematism: signaling towards predators
  • Gynandromorph: bisexually divided animal
  • Phylogeny: evolutionary history of a species
  • Trophotraxis: Physical adaptation to food sources
  • Davis' law: how tissue forms along imposed demands


  • Foundation species: grass
  • Indicator species: Chernobyl animals
  • Keystone species: High impact relative to its biomass.
  • Casual Species: alien species unable to form self-replacing population but relying on continual reintroduction
  • Colonizing Species
  • Sentinel species: organisms, often animals, used to detect risks to humans by providing advance warning of a danger


  • Climate Niche
  • Nutrient-Sensitive Landscapes
  • Target Ecosystem
  • Myth of Balance in Nature: Adam Curtis: Arthur Tansley: It all started with a dream. One night in the 1920s botanist Arthur Tansley had an unsettling nightmare that involved him shooting his wife. So he did the natural thing and started reading the works of Sigmund Freud, and even went to be analysed by Freud himself. Then Tansley came up with an extraordinary theory. He took Freud's idea that the human brain is like an electrical machine – a network around which energy flowed – and argued that the same thing was true in nature. That underneath the bewildering complexity of the natural world were interconnected systems around which energy also flowed. He coined a name for them. He called them ecosystems. But Tansley went further. He said that the world was composed at every level of systems, and what's more, all these systems had a natural desire to stabilise themselves. He grandly called it “the great universal law of equilibrium”. Everything, he wrote, from the human mind to nature to even human societies – all are tending towards a natural state of equilibrium. Tansley admitted he had no real evidence for this. And what he was really doing was taking an engineering concept of systems and networks and projecting it on to the natural world, turning nature into a machine. But the idea, and the term “ecosystem”, stuck. Adam Curtis, in the Observer, may 2011
  • Systems Ecology: Steppe grasslands project: George van Dyne
  • Ethology: study of animal behavior
  • Ethogram: a catalogue or inventory of behaviours or actions exhibited by an animal


  • Taxon richness: Amount of species found
  • Taxonomic diversity: One type of chicken, cactus and otter (4) ≠ Four types of Chicken (4)
  • Feature diversity: Richness in functions and behaviours
  • Allodiversity: The amount of species introduced by man, human activity
  • Endemism: only occurring locally (is a crude approximation of)
  • Phenotypic Diversity:
  • Phenotypic Plasticity:
  • Species Distribution:
  • Dark Biodiversity: trace biodiversity that is invisible to science: lives and dies at densities below our capacity to see it
  • Speciation: Allopatric Speciation: through geographic isolation
  • Symbiogenesis: the merging of two organisms resulting in new features (much faster than classic genetic mutation)
  • Functional Trait Biodiversity: beyond knowing simply what is present, to form a picture of the impact of different species to ecosystem health / but may be misused as economic arguments in conservation
  • Phylogenetic diversity: level of species that have few or no close relatives and that are very different from other species, which may mean that they can contribute in very different ways to an ecosystem
  • Biocapacity: carrying capacity of an ecosystem


  • Genotype: a genotype typically implies a measurement of how an individual differs or is specialized within a group
  • rapid adaptation: standing genetic variation for traits is underestimated
  • Gene Expression


  • Variation in the landscape
  • The amount of Microclimates
  • Optimal Foraging Theory: maximizes caloric intake, minimal energy expenditure, per unit of time.
Ecosystem Dynamics:
  • Dynamic Vegetation Model:
  • Climate Excursion:
  • Dispersal Jump: Dispersal Scenarios: Zoochorie: Seed Dispersal by Frugivores, or more generally by Animal Furr
  • Hysteresis: system depending heavily on past environment
  • Phenotypic Plasticity: the ability of one genotype to produce more than one phenotype when exposed to different environments
  • Characteristic Return Time: rate at which a population returns after disturbance
  • Biotic Pump (forest)
  • Macrosystems Ecology: Big Data
Regime Shifts:
  • Trophic Cascade: Impact of predator cascades down through entire ecosystem
  • Global Tipping Points & Safe Operating Space for Humanity
  • Eutrophication: Nutrient Loading
  • Refugia: Sky Island ecology
  • Succession: Early Succesional (pioneer), Late Succesional (climax veg) Problematic because soils, climate are not constant. Longliving species may reflect past climate rather than present. Spread from refugia may not be complete yet. Recently evolved species may not have reached the limit of potential range. Birch is late successional in some areas, but early in others.


  • Biodiversity Loss:
  • Species Extinction: indicating biodiversity loss by extinct species hides the enormous decline in individuals or biomass
  • Mass Extinction: examining the drop in the total number of animals, capturing also the plight of the world’s most common creatures
  • Age of Loneliness: Edward O. Wilson proffered an alternate name for this new epoch - the Eremozoic, meaning “the age of loneliness.”
  • Genetic Erosion: not enough individuals to meet and breed



  • Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary: Parataxonomy: field-trained biodiversity collection and inventory specialist recruited from local areas
  • biology_notes.txt
  • Last modified: 2020-01-21 20:27
  • by theunkarelse