Social Behavior and Population Ecology Exercises

Social Behavior and Population Ecology Exercises
GOAL: The objective of this set of problems is to apply key concepts from class to solve problems.
Social Behavior
A) Vampire bats feed on the blood of cattle and need to feed every 36 hours or they risk death. Young bats that are not fully weaned from feeding on milk to feeding on blood rely on their mothers to regurgitate blood into their mouths for food. In some cases, mothers have been observed regurgitating blood into the mouths of other adults. It turns out, these other adults were unsuccessful in obtaining a meal when they last hunted. This behavior is often reciprocated among individuals when the situation reverses. Females that receive regurgitations to fellow adults have on average 3.2 offspring per year, and females that don’t perform regurgitations have on average 1.1. Based on your understanding of altruism, indirect fitness and direct fitness, which other adults in a colony could a mother feed and expect to benefit from inclusive fitness? (Think of the turkey lek example from class/book. Show your work.)

a. Sister:
b. Daughter:
c. Cousin:
d. Aunt:
e. Stranger:
Life History and Population Growth
Age
Number at start of stage (Nx)
Proportion surviving at start of stage (lx)
Eggs produced per surviving individual in stage (bx)
Eggs produced per original individual in each stage (lxbx)
0
279
1
0
0
1
117
.31
.13
2
.31
.54
.17
3
50
.18
.08
4
20
.07
.11
Fill in the missing numbers in the above life table.
What is the net reproductive rate of the population? Is the population growing?
B) After 7 years of exponential growth, a population of iteroparous, continuous breeding, turtles has reached 8117 individuals. Over that time, the per capita rate (r) of increase was 1.03. What was the initial population size?
If, after another 4 years, the population declines from 8117 to 6524, what is the per capita rate of increase during those 4 years?
C) A population of annual plants increases from 2400 one year to 3100 the following year. What is the geometric rate of increase?
Assuming the population continues to grow at this rate, how large will the population be after 5 additional years?
D) You are studying a population of 1150 individuals. If this species has an intrinsic rate of increase (rmax) of 0.68 and a carrying capacity of 22000, what is the current rate of population growth?

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