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Lecture 13

Lecture 13.docx

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Biology 3446B
Robert Solomon

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Lecture 13: Population Biology Infectious diseases - Caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, parasites Normal Chronic Infections - Wildlife have evolved with and are adapted to most potential pathogens in their environment - All vertebrates carry numerous potential pathogens, usually without disease symptoms - Yet, these organisms can become pathogenic when an animal’s resistance is lower by severe weather/poor nutrition/crowding Epizootics - Disease epidemics in animals - May also be associated with severe weather or high ecological density, BUT often the causes of an Epizootic are unknown - i.e. Rabies o Viral disease o Periodic outbreaks can have devastating consequences to Foxes, Skunks primarily - i.e. Chronic wasting disease o Deer and elk o New disease are constantly evolving o CWD is a neurological disease – mutated protein (prion)  Transmitted through animal-animal contact  No treatment or vaccine  No confirmed evidence of human infection Population Biology - We have seen how reproductive rates and mortality rates can vary with population density - Populations don’t grow as fast as biotic potential would allow, and they don’t grow indefinitely - They tend to reach some sort of level of size which tends to be stable for a particular population = carrying capacity for the population
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