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Assignment in Ecology — Papers will be graded for both quality of content and college-level writing. Write a paper (at minimum, five pages without a title page, figures, tables, and references cited) about the ecology of Alabama. Choose one of the following specific topics: 1) the Longleaf Pine Forest Ecosystem (includes wiregrass and carnivorous plant bogs) of southern Alabama; 2) ecology of the Cahaba River (including “The Lost World” – Ketona Dolomite glades in Bibb County, Alabama, and endemic fish/shellfish in the river); 3) ecology of the Tennessee River Valley, Cheaha Mountain, or the Little River Canyon in northern Alabama. Your paper should include these basic parts: introduction, including geographic location within our state, the geology of the area, the overall appearance of the landscape; a discussion of any biotic and abiotic factors to which the plants (flora) and animals (fauna) are adapted along with representative plants and animals, major keystone species and their effects on other species, major invasive species and their effects on natural communities; and a discussion of how these sites are managed and/or conserved. Papers should be typed and double-spaced using Arial or Times New Roman 12-pt. font. The minimum length is five pages. The title page and any figures (pictures, diagrams, graphs, etc.) or tables (lists of species) are additional pages. Non-scientific and personal references such as Wikipedia are not acceptable; URL’s should end in “.edu”, “.gov”, or “.org.” At the end of the paper, attach the first page of each reference showing the URL. Cite a minimum of five references.

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