behavioral ecology


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Behavioral ecology

The branch of ecology that focuses on the evolutionary causes of variation in behavior among populations and species. Thus it is concerned with the adaptiveness of behavior, the ultimate questions of why animals behave as they do, rather than the proximate questions of how they behave. The principles of natural selection are applied to behavior with the underlying assumption that, within the constraints of their evolutionary histories, animals behave optimally by maximizing their genetic contribution to future generations. For example, animals must maintain their internal physiological conditions within certain limits in order to function properly, and often they do this by behavior. Small organisms may avoid desiccation by living under logs or by burrowing. Many insects must raise body temperatures to 86–95°F (30–35°C) for effective flight, and achieve this by muscular activity such as the shivering of butterflies in the early morning or by orienting to the Sun. Other adaptive behaviors that are studied may fall in the categories of habitat selection, foraging, territoriality, and reproduction. See Behavior genetics, Ethology, Migratory behavior, Reproductive behavior

behavioral ecology

[bi′hāv·yə·rəl ē′käl·ə·jē]
(ecology)
The branch of ecology that focuses on the evolutionary causes of variation in behavior among populations and species.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is time to abandon longstanding misinformed "flat earth" understandings of wild horse behavioral ecology and move forward enlightened with scientific fact.
Zink, "Intraspecific brood parasitism as a conditional reproductive tactic in the treehopper Publilia concava," Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, vol.
After the introduction (Part I), the units follow a logical order that starts at the level of the individual (Part II: behavioral ecology, including social insects) and progressively expand to larger scales.
A recent study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology posits that the surging human population is starting to organize like an ant supercolony.
The research was published in the journal Behavioral Ecology.
In May of 2004, the field of entomology and more specifically the fields of ethology, behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, and integrated pest management unexpectedly lost a pioneering and leading scientist and colleague, Ronald J.
Crozier also served in various capacities on editorial boards for several major journals including Annual Review of Ecology & Systematics, Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology, Ecology Letters, Evolution, Insectes Sociaux, Journal of Molecular Evolution, and Molecular Biology & Evolution.
Jerry Waldvogel Clemson University waldvoj@clemson.edu innovations in science instruction, communication across the curriculum, evolution, behavioral ecology Please, share your ideas and send manuscripts to leonard@clemson.edu.
8:20 LIFE HISTORIES AND BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY OF AMPHIBIANS
His research focuses on behavioral ecology of salmon populations.
Dawkins, and the branch of ethology known as behavioral ecology. But David Sloan Wilson has a legitimate voice of his own, and he has earned the right to be heard.
It publishes research and articles in theoretical ecology, including ecophysiology, population ecology, behavioral ecology, evolutionary ecology, ecosystm ecology, and ecosystem and landscape ecology.

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