I really need help with this biology question. Please explain in simple terms!!

Biology
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

1.  As a result of human activity (such as logging), large forests are becoming fragmented into several smaller forests. 

a) How might the fragmentation affect the EVOLUTION of a large mammal, like a moose, compared to a small invertebrate, like a worm?

please explain how the evolution of each organism will be affected. 

I really don't understand this question so please try your best to put it in simple terms so it is easy to understand..

May 28th, 2015

Animals evolve when there is a genetic mutation that develops in one organism that gives it an advantage in survival, like thicker fur, different color fur, or like bigger teeth or something.

The moose in this area would have the most effect evolution wise because the population would decrease the most because of the less resources. So if one moose has an advantage they are more likely to survive.

The worms wouldn't be affected as much mostly because their niche is dirt. So like, less trees doesn't affect them too much.

Does that make sense?

May 28th, 2015

it makes alot of sense actually..

other than worms, would the evolution of all small invertebrates not be affected by forest fragmentation?

May 28th, 2015

if yes please explain why...  :) 

May 28th, 2015

Well smaller animals wouldn't necessarily be safe, because you're dealing with fewer resources now being shared by the same amount of occupants. It would be like getting rid of half of your house, and your family only staying in one half. There's going to be a lot of competition for resources and the populations are going to decrease accept for those better equipped to survive (though hopefully not in your family.). This doesn't necessarily mean there's a mutation, but what happens when you decrease the resources, is you kinda force evolution on whatever animals were living there. So if nothing changes, the animals will keep going the way they are.
Sure there could be a disease that get's a lot sick, there could be an astroid and they all die, but if nothing changes, they will just go on the way they're going. Like you're family would just keep going on until something changes. Sure someone can cause this change, be it someone in your family, or something outside, but the point is something must change.

With the forest being cut down, the change has been made and now the animals must react, so in a sense evolution is forced or sped up. Like a laxative. Have you ever had a laxative? Well, if you haven't, it makes you poop. It speeds up your metabolic processes, and you're bowels have to do something or your stomach is going to hurt really bad. So you poop. I don't know if that was the best example...

Is any of this making sense?

May 28th, 2015

so basically a small invertebrate would not be affected as much because it requires little space and has a small environment. the fragmentation of the forests (trees) would not be of much affect to them because cutting down forests is a big change that is too big to affect their small environments etc??

Let me know if thats right or makes sense!


May 29th, 2015

That makes sense. Only what it means is that the forest will affect them a lot because it's affecting all of the populations.

Like, back to the thing with your family, if all of a sudden you guys are running short on money, then not only are all of you going to be affected, but your pets will too, how much gas you put in the car, all of these things will be affected by this change in resource because the're all connected.

But your answer makes total sense, and honestly if you can justify your claim I see no reason why it isn't possible.

There's no right answer, like nothing is written in stone. All we can do is give our two cents and make our best guess, ya know? 

Seems like you understand what's going on. I'd still be happy to discuss with you any further.

May 29th, 2015

what i am trying to get at is that you said a larger mammal would be affected alot by forest fragmentation, small invertebrates would obviously be still affected in some way but not as much as a larger mammal.. is there a reason why a small invertebrate would be less affected than a larger mammal? 

I am just trying to understand :) 


May 29th, 2015

The reason being larger animals use more resources. And it's no problem. Ask as many questions as you need to understand.

But yeah, a moose is going to eat a lot more vegetation then say a rabbit. So rabbits would handle less resources better than moose because the moose lost more compared to a rabbit.

Like, 100 bucks to a millionaire may not be that much (the millionaire being the rabbit who doesn't need as much resources), but  a 100 bucks to a homeless guy is a lot because they need that more (being the moose in this case, using more resources).

Does that make more sense?

May 29th, 2015

wow that does make alot of sense :)

so since the larger mammal (moose) requires more resources and since they were reduced or taken away by forest fragmentation.. would the larger mammal have to have new alleles selected for it to be able to adapt to its new surroundings (in that case it would be evolving)??

May 29th, 2015

It wouldn't get any new alleles automatically. Like, it could, but not necessarily. They could just all die because none of them could adapt genetically. But if an adaptation were to occur, it would have a greater impact in this case.

Cause like, if there are 1000 people, and a drought comes and they only have 9000, and one happens to be immune to dehydration, that adaptation wouldn't really matter, because all the others are obviously getting along just fine without that adaptation. (these are the rabbits)

However, if there are only 100 people and a drought comes to where there's only 10, and 1 is immune to dehydration, well that person has a much better chance than the others because of this advantage. (these are the moose)

It's like that with the moose and rabbits. Less numbers mean that any ones with genetic differences or different alleles that give it an advantage over the others is a much bigger deal with the decrease population. Only, we already said that the population of moose would decrease more than the rabbits, so the genetic impact would be greater on the moose.

May 29th, 2015

so the larger mammal is not evolving it is just dying off? 

and the small invertebrate stays the same and does not evolve?

May 29th, 2015

No they won't die off, they will probably evolve more than a smaller one. 

May 29th, 2015

They will evolve because of their lack of resources?

let me know if i am asking to many questions :)

May 29th, 2015

No you're fine! 
And yes, their lack of resources will make it so if there is any that have mutated genes that give them an advantage, they will survive this decrease in resources. So yes, the lack of resources will trigger the rise of and evolved species.

May 29th, 2015

Ok I get it now!

You were an amazing help! thank you so much for standing by even though I had alot of questions! you are an awesome tutor and i am definitely gonna rate you with 5 stars! (and give you a good review)! 

May 29th, 2015

:)  

May 29th, 2015

haha thanks! Let me know if there's anything I can help you with in the future.

And I won't mind if you tell your friends about me either.

Take care kiddo.

-Doctor Turner

May 29th, 2015

I will definitely tell my friends about you :) 

May 29th, 2015

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