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Life Strategies Questions

Question 1

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Answer 1

The basic theory divides strategies into two types: weedy or long-lived. Weedy species tend to reproduce rapidly, in huge numbers and small reproductive units. The populations fluctuate markedly. The organisms tend to be found in highly disturbed habitats. At the other extreme, long-lived organisms invest more in sustaining the individual and maintaining a stable population, which requires a predictable and stable habitat. One consequence is that fewer, larger offspring are produced.

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Question 2

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Answer 2

Fungi have been suggested to have a stress tolerant and combative strategies in addition to the ruderal pattern. These strategies enable colonisation of stressful environments, for the former, and difficult sources of organic carbon, in the case of the latter.

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Question 3

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Answer 3

The reliance on the process of extracellular digestion to access external sources of organic energy has provided the fungi with some remarkably different strategies from plants and animals. Excretion of enzymes for digestion of resources results in the breakdown products being available to all in the vicinity. Second, supplies of energy disappear as they are utilised, and fungi must move on to new resources to survive. While this applies to all heterotrophic organisms, the fungi have a filamentous construction and indeterminate mode of growth which necessitates different approaches to dispersal.

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Question 4

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Answer 4

Extracellular digestion creates available nutrients for all. If other users of the resource are suppressed or out-competed, then the individual survives.

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Question 5

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Answer 5

Essentially the same processes as other heterotrophs that use extracellular digestion: they range from fast and massive reproduction, to slow and combative life cycles.

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Question 6

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Question 7

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