Wednesday, February 21, 2018


The island-dwelling Nightingale Reed-warbler of the tropical Pacific exhibits the phenomenon of gigantism.

The next video in the AP Environmental Science topic The Living World is entitled Evolutionary Ecology.  The lesson begins by examining a series of specimens of the possibly extinct Eskimo Curlew.  Doing so demonstrates the existence of individual variation that cannot be accounted for by considering age or sex.  This individual variation may be acted upon by natural selection to yield evolutionary change.  The example of gigantism in the genetically isolated, island-dwelling Nightingale Reed-warbler is used as an example.  Other species, like the unrelated Gray Catbird exhibit traits like the reed-warbler, which provides an example of convergent evolution.  The video also explores coevolution- the influence of one species on the evolution of another.  The video concludes by examining the concepts of r an k selection- alternative ways that reproductive strategies may evolve.

All videos in this series are open access and may be viewed through Arts and Academic Publishing.  This particular one may be viewed by clicking below:

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


This infrared photo of a tidal wetland is overlain with maps of vegetation types.

The eleventh in the Living World series of videos compatible with the AP Environmental Science curriculum is entitled Landscape Ecology.  The program concludes discussion of the species-area effect by extending its implications to the study of island biogeography. These issues relate to the larger issue of landscape ecology- considering the geographical scale at which ecological phenomena are studied. It concludes by relating ecology to evolution through discussion of natural selection, mutation, fitness and genetic isolation.  This and all videos in this series are open access and may be viewed via Arts and Academic Publishing.