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Question Description

Each response should be 250-350 words and revise for clarity . Your answers must be in your own words (although specific jargon can be used). must follow this rubric Student demonstrates mastery of the concept, uses biological vocabulary correctly and provides evidence/examples when appropriate. The answer is accurate and thorough, but avoids superfluous information. Zero percent plagiarism.

SLO#1: Identify and characterize the diversity of life at the phylum level and critically evaluate the hypotheses regarding the overarching phylogenetic patterns.

**Be able to visually identify representative species from the phyla we covered this semester. Emphasis will be placed on Kingdom Animalia and Kingdom Plantae.

1.I Evolutionary biologists study a process that, for the most part, none of us were around to witness! What is the evidence that these scientists collect to make inferences about the diversification of life on this planet? Provide at two examples from the animal diversification presentations. Be sure to explain how the evidence used connects to the inferences made in each case.

2.What are homeobox genes? How do patterns in the evolution of these genes show shared ancestry among all animals? How do the patterns show divergence? As you know, arthropods possess a variety of different mouth parts; since homeobox genes control the development of the head region, scientists have argued that they were instrumental in driving the diversification of arthropods. Imagine a single group of arthropods with the same mouth parts and explain the steps that might have followed to give rise to the diversity we see today.

3.Explain how sympatric speciation occurs among cichlid species living in Lake Victoria. Some areas of the lake experience extreme runoff from developed areas which dumps sediment in the water, making it cloudy. How might this impact the reinforcement of reproductive barriers and what are the consequences? Discuss how other environmental variables might impact the process of speciation.

4.Contrast the flower characteristics that attract bats, hummingbirds, and bees. What features of their sensory system are responsible for these patterns? Describe coevolution and a specific example of how one of these pollinators might drive the evolution of flower characteristics in plants. How would one go about testing a hypothesis about coevolution driving speciation?

5.Plants, which evolved from an algae ancestor who was obligately aquatic, consist of clades that are increasingly well adapted to the challenges of life on land. Provide examples of the progression, explaining how traits increased fitness for plants that possessed them. How might some of these traits lead to diversification over time?

6.Mutualistic interactions between land plants and mycorrhizal fungi are found in nearly every plant clade. What are the benefits each organism derives from this relationship? What is the significance of this relationship to plants as they made the transition on to land? How might this relationship cause diversification in fungi?

7.How do bacteria and protists differ? Explain how serial endosymbiosis was significant to the evolution and diversification of protists. Despite their lack of complexity relative to protists, bacteria are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet. What features have contributed to their diversification? Explain.

SLO #2: Explain the major patterns in the form and function of organisms across the diversity of life uniting cell structure and anatomy with the physiology of their function.

1.Respiration has different challenges in air vs. water; briefly describe what they are. Compare and contrast fish gills with mammalian lungs. Explain how the structure of each organ exemplifies how it evolved in response to the challenges you described. Explain why invertebrates usually don’t have respiration structures as complex as vertebrates.

2.Explain how your body maintains blood glucose homeostasis after you ingest a meal and after you skip a meal. Be sure to explain the organs, cells, and hormones involved. Explain how intermittent fasting changes metabolism and why it may be beneficial to your health.

3.Chronic stress exposes the body to glucocorticoids over a prolonged period of time and has been shown to be detrimental to all body systems. Choose 3 body systems (one could be your own). For each, describe the physiological issue(s) and its underlying cellular mechanism that is caused by chronic stress. Note: do not explain the HPA axis.

4.Explain how the heart generates its own contraction using pacemaker cells. Be sure to explain an action potential and how the cardiac muscle fibers contract. How does understanding these cellular mechanisms help doctors treat heart rate issues?

5.Compared to our closest living ancestor, the chimpanzee, humans have skeletal and muscular adaptations for bipedal movement. List a few of these and explain how they are essential to bipedalism. You learned that there is additional evidence that we evolved for endurance running; explain why V02 max is significant to this type of exercise. There is variation among humans in V02 max; explain how cardiac health and muscle fiber types might be responsible for this variation.

6.Compare how a Western diet vs. a Mediterranean diet affects your gut microbiome composition. Explain how this can impact your mental health, considering your gut and brain are quite a long distance away from one another. Discuss the additional information you learned about the microbiome and health in the research paper you posted in your annotated bibliography. Provide the citation to your paper.

7.Explain what monogamous voles have taught us about oxytocin’s role in promoting social bonding in humans. We also know that oxytocin interacts with the dopaminergic reward pathway on our brain. Explain the parts of this pathway and what each does to reinforce positive behavior. Why is the reward pathway an adaptive feature of our nervous system?

8.Aging in humans happens because the force of selection weakens after reproduction. Explain what this means. Based on your research for the Centenarian Olympics project, provide some specific physiological consequences of aging that exemplify this. What are the pre-emptive steps we can take to postpone these consequences?

SLO #3: Critically evaluate current theories governing our understanding of population, community, and global ecology and their relationships to evolution of life on earth.

1. What are life history strategies and how do they vary across living organisms? What environmental factors influence the evolution of life history strategies? Provide examples that represent K-selected species and r-selected species. Why are population ecologists interested in the evolution of life history strategies?

2.What type of population growth pattern is most commonly found in natural populations? Explain why, using some specific examples of the factors that affect population growth or decline. Male kudu have dramatically spiraled horns, which makes them a target of trophy hunters. Explain two consequences this will have on population growth. Besides limiting hunting, what else might conservation biologists do to save this species from extinction?

3.What are the interspecific interactions that occur in an ecological community? What are two specific examples you learned about from the rocky intertidal during the teaching activity where you shared a paper you read? Describe how researchers are able to determine experimentally what type of interaction is occurring between species.

4.Compare and contrast two of the following hypotheses to explain global diversity patterns:

  • Geographical area hypothesis
  • Species-energy hypothesis
  • Climate stability hypothesis
  • The evolutionary rate hypothesis

5.Interspecific interactions can affect species biodiversity at the community level as well. Explain how predators and facilitation might increase diversity. Provide some real-life examples from the rocky intertidal community.

6.Competition for space is arguably one of the most important factors in shaping rocky intertidal communities. What species are the most affected by competition, which are the least? Consider two species that are competing intensely over a long period of time, what are the two evolutionary outcomes that may result from this ecological interaction? Explain.

7.Which of the 5 ecosystems in Southern California (coastal wetland, chaparral, riparian, conifer/mixed forest and Pacific Ocean) provide each of the following ecosystem services? Provide a thorough explanation of how each ecosystem provides the services it does. Remember that a single ecosystem may provide more than 1 service!

  • carbon sequestration
  • water supply and purification
  • erosion and flood control
  • climate stability

8.What are the top 2 ecosystems that should have preferential state funding allocated to them for protection and conservation? Justify your answer.