Animal ecology - MB162P07
Title: Ekologie živočichů
Czech title: Ekologie živočichů
Guaranteed by: Department of Ecology (31-162)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Actual: from 2019
Semester: summer
E-Credits: 3
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:2/0 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: unlimited
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: Czech
Additional information:
Guarantor: prof. David Storch, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): prof. Lukáš Kratochvíl, Ph.D.
prof. David Storch, Ph.D.
Attributes: Modul Ekologie a evoluce
Opinion survey results   Examination dates   Schedule   
Annotation -
Last update: VSACH (13.04.2005)
This course concerns basic overview of this field of ecology. Major topics include the sources of ecological diversity of animals, physiological and energetic constraints that determine different life strategies, evolutionary ecology of life-histories, functioning of animals in various ecosystems, dynamics of animal populations and changes in their distributions, intraspecific and interspecific interactions and evolution of animal diversity.
Literature -
Last update: prof. David Storch, Ph.D. (24.10.2019)

Begon M., Harper J.L. and Townsend C.R.: Ecology. Third edition. Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford 1995.
Brown J. H.: Macroecology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1995
Chris Lavers: Proč mají sloni velké uši. Argo a Dokořán, Praha 2004
Schluter D.: The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2000
Stearns S.C.: The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1992
Storch D., Mihulka S.: Úvod do současné ekologie. Portál, Praha 2000
Zrzavý J., Storch D., Mihulka S.: Jak se dělá evoluce: od sobeckého genu k rozmanitosti života. Paseka, Praha 2004

Requirements to the exam -
Last update: prof. David Storch, Ph.D. (24.10.2019)

Written test.

Syllabus -
Last update: VSACH (13.04.2005)

1. Animals vs. plants, fungi and unicells: what is the animal, cetralization as a major organizational principle. Body size as the most important feature determining life-history and ecology of species, advantages and disadvantages of different body sizes in animals.

2. Metabolism and its ecological consequences: body size - metabolic allometry, energy consumption and its correlates, role of temperature. Advantages and constraints of poikilothermy and homeothermy. Individual growth, its constraints and determinants.

3. Major dimensions of ecological variability in animals: basic body plans and consequent constraints, adaptive zones of some of the most diverse taxa: crustaceans, insects, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

4. Life-history strategies and their evolution: morphological, physiological and ecological constraints on the size of eggs/embryos and consequent reproductive trade-offs, slow-fast continuum, relationship between body size, mortality and the distribution of lifetime reproductive investments, emergence of the diversity of reproductive strategies.

5. Ecology of reproduction: timing of reproduction, advantages and disadvantages of semelparity and iteroparity, sex determination and sex ratios, determinants of parental investments.

6. Fundamentals of animal ecophysiology: adaptations to extreme conditions, differences between aquatic and terrestrial environment, adaptations to environmental variability, dispersal and dormancy.

7. Trophic ecology: herbivory, predation and parasitism, foraging strategies, trophic relationships in ecosystems, trophic cascades.

8. Ecology of animal communities: major structuring forces, the role of interspecific competition, parasitism and mutualism, the role of animals in ecosystems: keystone species, dispersers, pollinators, ecosystem engineers.

9. Distribution of animals on the earth: the role of climate, vegetation and physiological tolerance. Ecological dominance and energetic bilances of different taxa in different biomes.

10. Abundance and population density: why do different species differ in their abundances, correlates of population sizes, generalists and specialists, population growth and regulation, intraspecific interactions: territoriality, aggregation, sociality, coloniality, Alee´s effect.

11. Spread and decline: range sizes and range dynamics, ecological invasions. Extinction and its correlates, current changes in animal abundances and diversity, introductions and extinctions on islands.

12. Dynamics of animal biodiversity: allopatric and sympatric speciation, adaptive radiation and ecomorphological divergence. Species richness of different taxa and its correlates, the role of key innovations. The future of biodiversity.