Small Environments

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The American Naturalist , 48 Dethlefsen, L. The pervasive effects of an antibiotic on the human gut microbiota, as revealed by deep 16S rRNA sequencing.

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PLoS Biology 6 , e Hata, H. Geographic variation in the damselfish-red alga cultivation mutualism in the Indo-West Pacific. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10 , Kleidon, A. A green planet versus a desert world: estimating the maximum effect of vegetation on the land surface climage.

Climatic Change 44 , Marquez, L. A virus in a fungus in a plant: three-way symbiosis required for thermal tolerance. Science , Morton, O.

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Parker, A. Water capture by a desert beetle. Nature , Pringle, R. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna. PLoS Biol 8 , e Riedman, M. Schlesinger, W. An analysis of global change.

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In Biogeochemistry. New York: Academic Press, World Health Organization. Washington, DC: Island Press, To fully understand ecology, you must first be able to grasp the underlying concepts of evolution, genetics, and biodiversity. Articles in this room introduce you to these underlying concepts.

Also included are articles on using molecular techniques to study ecology. Physiological ecologists study how an organism's physiology meets the challenges posed by its environment. Articles in this room introduces you to these challenges that include how organisms maximally adapt to varying temperatures and are able to obtain the energy, nutrients and water that they need to live, grow, and reproduce.

Ecological communities are associations of species that co-occur in the same location and at the same time. Communities can cover large or small areas, and they can differ greatly in terms of the numbers and types of species found within them. Community ecology is a field that examines the effects of living and non-living features on the structure of a community.

Restoration ecology is the scientific study of repairing disturbed ecosystems through human intervention. Whereas conservation biology is often focused on assessing and preventing ongoing degradation, restoration ecology seeks to actively reverse such degradation. Articles in this room serve as resources for faculty interested in new ways to reach their students, or who want to learn more about teaching and learning.

Ecosystem ecology is the study of questions about the living and nonliving components within the environment, how these factors interact with each other, and how both natural and human-induced changes affect how they function. The biosphere is the ultimate determinant of where organisms can live, grow, and reproduce. The biosphere includes climate, which consists of long-term trends in temperature and precipitation and soils. A population is a group of individuals of a single species that live in a particular area and interact with one another. Many of the central issues in ecology concern questions about how and why the locations and abundances of populations change over time.

Global and regional ecology considers the application of the science of ecology to the management of natural resources. Articles in this room introduce these emerging fields.


Animal behavior is a rapidly growing and advancing area of study. Articles in this room introduce you what we know about why animals behave the way they do. From tiny viruses and bacteria, unrecognized for millennia, to blue whales weighing tons, and fungi that spread for hundreds of hectares underground, the diversity and extent of life on Earth is dazzling.

In its life and reproduction, every organism is shaped by, and in turn shapes, its environment. Ecological scientists study organism-environment interactions across ecosystems of all sizes, ranging from microbial communities to the Earth as a whole. Aa Aa Aa. The Web of Life. Scientists estimate that there are between five to fifty million species of organisms on Earth, of which less than two million have been officially named May Many organisms are small: including microbes that inhabit almost every crevice of the Earth; tiny worms that help build soils; and insects that spend their entire lives in tree tops.

Alongside these small denizens coexist larger, flashier species that have drawn human attention throughout the ages: multicellular plants and fungi, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fellow mammals. These species, as well as many smaller ones, are consumers that depend for sustenance on energetic biochemical compounds generated from light energy by photosynthesizing producer species, or from inorganic chemical reactions by chemosynthetic species.

The diversity of producer species, on which all life depends, is immense, and ranges from cyanobacteria to towering trees in tropical and temperate rainforests. Nutrients from terrestrial systems wash into lakes and oceans, where additional primary production by phytoplankton and algae helps support large communities of zooplankton, fish, sea mammals, and birds. Over time, nutrients are returned from the oceans to the land through the movements of organisms, atmospheric gaseous exchange, or slower geological processes, such as the uplift of ocean sediments Schlesinger Approaches to Ecology.

Years of ecological research have helped rice farmers adopt cropping strategies that simultaneously promote rice production and expand habitat for waterfowl. The Environment Shapes Organisms.

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Organisms Shape the Environment. References and Recommended Reading Beerling, D. Burger, W. Flowers: How They Changed the World. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, Cowen, R. History of Life. Gaston, K. Global patterns in biodiversity.

Ecologists Study the Interactions of Organisms and Their Environment | Learn Science at Scitable

May, R. How many species are there on Earth? Sea Otters. Article History Close. Keywords Keywords for this Article. Flag Inappropriate The Content is: Objectionable. Email your Friend. This content is currently under construction. Explore This Subject. Physiological Ecology. Community Ecology. Conservation and Restoration. Teach Ecology. Ecosystem Ecology. Population Ecology.

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Global and Regional Ecology. Animal Behavior. Topic rooms within Ecology Close. Jeffrey Covin. Dennis Slevin. Strategic management of small firms in hostile and benign environments. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. Data on environmental hostility, organization structure, strategic posture, competitive tactics, and financial performance were collected from small manufacturers. Findings indicate that performance zyx among small firms in hostile environments was positively related to an organic structure, an entrepreneurial strategic posture, and a competitive profile characterized by a long-term orientation, high product prices, and a concern for predicting industry trends.

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I n benign environments, on the other hand, performance was positively related to a mechanistic structure, a conservative strategic posture, and a competitive profile characterized by conservative financial management and a short-term financial orientation, an emphasis on product refinement, and a willingness to rely heavily on single customers. Surviving and competi- growth. General economic conditions as well as tively flourishing in a hostile environment is fiscal and regulatory influences are commonly difficult for large, established firms Hall, Recent research has shown firms due to their limited resource bases and that industry structure may have a powerful effect relative inabilities to survive the consequences on the performance of new business ventures of poor managerial decisions.

Because of the Sandberg, More general environmental continuing trend toward greater environmental dimensions such as level of industry stagnation hostility in many domestic manufacturing indus- and dynamism may also affect small firm perform- tries, learning to compete effectively in hostile ance Peterson, ; Miller and Toulouse, Hostile environments are in which the overall strategic orientation, the characterized by precarious industry settings, competitive tactics, and the organizational attri- intense competition, harsh, overwhelming busi- butes of small manufacturing firms in hostile zyxwvutsr zyxwvutsrqp ness climates, and the relative lack of exploitable opportunities.

Covin and D. Slevin the strategic postures and organization structures associated with high performance in both hostile and benign environments. Organization structure and environmental Mintzberg wrote: hostility Although references to the concept of environ- Hostility affects structure through the intermedi- mental hostility have been scattered throughout ate variables of the predictability of work, in that hostile environments are unpredictable ones.

In addition to rapid organizational responses are not typically drawing a number of conclusions concerning the required Burns and Stalker, ; Lawrence and effective business strategies of firms in such Lorsch, As such, one would expect that environments, Hall briefly addressed organization organic structures will be effective for firms structure issues.

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Specifically, he noted that high- operating in hostile environments, whereas mech- performing firms typically reacted to increased anistic structures will be relatively more effective hostility by creating internal administrative struc- for firms in benign environments. This expectation zyxw tures which allowed them effectively and is supported by research conducted by Khand- zyxwv efficiently to manage any necessary strategic walla Since structural issues were not the principal Canadian firms.

Although caution must be exercised when gener- zyxw impact of threatening environmental contexts on several dimensions of organizational structure. Pfeffer and firms in hostile environments than small firms Leblebici studied the effect of competitive inten- in benign environments. Small Firms in Hostile and Benign Environments Strategic posture and environmental hostility Strategic posture can be broadly defined as a zy zy tain viability.

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