Potential Exam Questions from Lecture 2 and statistics workshop

What are the two main characteristics of diversity in quantitative ecology?

Below are data from bird surveys on two islands. Draw one plot that has the dominance diversity curves for each island. Choose the y-axis so that the two islands can be most easily compared. Which island is more diverse?

red-tail wapdoodle     109   3
wingnut                200  13
flapper                 50   1
western crank           80   1
water schmoozel        300  70
baffledhead             10   1
chitterchatter         150   3
starlet                100   3
barn gargle              0   1
yellowbellied seersucker 1   1
good tern                0   2
another good tern        0   1

Draw a dominance-diversity curve contrasting a tropical rainforest and a boreal forest. Assume a similar taxonomic assemblage is used in both (e.g., trees). Carefully label your axes.

Do issues of sampling and sampling universes apply when discussing ecological diversity? Explain and give examples.

Discuss the Lotka-Volterra population growth models and contrast them with the Macarthur-Wilson model of island biogeography. Which model assumes interactive communities? What does it mean to assume interactive vs. non-interactive communities? What might be the consequences if one vs. the other is closer to the truth?

There are many hypotheses of why there are more species in the tropics. Define and contrast the time-stability, productivity, disturbance, and area hypotheses. Which are interactive community models?

What are the main assumptions of Hubbell's new Unified Neutral Theory of Diversity and Biogeography?

Is Hubbell's model inductive or deductive? How about Preston's?

Fisher, for moths, and Preston, for breeding birds, suggested models of relative abundance for species in nature. How do the two models differ?

Contrast interval and category variables, and give examples of each.

Give an example of a sampling universe. Describe how you would obtain a random sample.

Explain the difference between dependent and independent samples, and give examples.

Write the equations for mean, variance, standard deviation, and standard error of the mean. List separately and define each symbol you use in the equations. Use them to calculate values for the following dataset: 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 2, 10, 2, 3, 0.

State in words what a p value is.

What is the relationship between a null hypothesis and a test statistic?

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John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA. longinoj@evergreen.edu

Paul Butler, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA. butlerp@evergreen.edu

Last modified: 19 January 2002