GATE Ecology and Evolution Syllabus

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GATE 2019 Ecology and Evolution Syllabus ( EY )

Section 1 : Ecology

Population ecology; metapopulation dynamics; growth rates; density independent growth; density dependent growth; niche concept;

Species interactions : Plant – animal interactions; mutualism, commensalism, competition and predation; trophic interactions; functional ecology; ecophysiology; behavioural ecology;

Community ecology : Community assembly, organization and evolution; biodiversity : species richness, evenness and diversity indices; endemism; species – area relationships;

Ecosystem structure, function and services; nutrient cycles; biomes; habitat ecology; primary and secondary productivity; invasive species; global and climate change; applied ecology.

Section 2 : Evolution

Origin, evolution and diversification of life; natural selection; levels of selection.

Types of selection ( stabilizing, directional etc. ); sexual selection; genetic drift; gene flow; adaptation; convergence; species concepts;

Life history strategies; adaptive radiation; biogeography and evolutionary ecology;

Origin of genetic variation; Mendelian genetics; polygenic traits, linkage and recombination; epistasis, gene – environment interaction; heritability; population genetics;

Molecular evolution; molecular clocks; systems of classification : cladistics and phenetics; molecular systematics; gene expression and evolution.

Section 3 : Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology

Mathematics and statistics in ecology; Simple functions ( linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, etc ); concept of derivatives and slope of a function; permutations and combinations; basic probability ( probability of random events; sequences of events, etc ); frequency distributions and their descriptive statistics ( mean, variance, coefficient of variation, correlation, etc ).

Statistical hypothesis testing : Concept of p – value; Type I and Type II error, test statistics like t – test and Chi – square test; basics of linear regression and ANOVA.

Section 4 : Behavioural Ecology

Classical ethology; neuroethology; evolutionary ethology; chemical, acoustic and visual signaling

Mating systems; sexual dimorphism; mate choice; parenting behaviour Competition; aggression; foraging behaviour; predator – prey interactions; Sociobiology : kin selection, altruism, costs and benefits of group – living.