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BI 4: Population Ecology

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Kimberly Christian

on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of BI 4: Population Ecology

Population Ecology
population - group of individuals of same species living in a specific area

species - group of individuals that can mate and produce viable, fertile offspring
ex: all of the sugar maple (
Acer saccharum
) trees on grounds of SHSE
Population Growth
Observing & Measuring Populations
Human Population
1. population density: number of individuals per unit area (terrestrial) or volume (aquatic)

2. dispersion: spatial distribution of individuals within population

3. fecundity: number of offspring produced in a standard period of time

4. age distribution: proportion of individuals divided into age groups

exponential growth model: under ideal conditions, a population's growth will continue to accelerate over time
assuming: unlimited resources, no predators, no natural disaster

density independent factors: natural disasters
logistic growth model: under more realistic conditions, a populations growth rate will decrease as the population reaches the carrying capacity of the environment

carrying capacity: maximum
population size that a certain
environment can support

density dependent factors: competition for resources, territoriality, disease, predation
In 2009, the US had a population of about 307 million people. If there were 14 births and 8 deaths per thousand people, what was the country's net population growth that year (ignoring immigration and emigration, which are substantial)? Do you think the US is currently experiencing exponential poulation growth? Explain.
Adaptations for Population Growth
K selected species
R selected species
describes populations with traits that are favored at high densities
population size is close to carrying capacity
density-dependent selection
few offspring/individual but high investment in care
ex: old trees in an established forest
describes populations with traits that are favored at low densities
population size is not near carrying capacity
density-independent selection
many offspring/individual but little investment in care
ex: weeds growing in an abandoned field
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