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Lecture Notes Population Ecology

3 Pages

Biological Sciences Program
Course Code
BSCI 106

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Population Ecology 09/07/2012 Population – a group of individuals of a single species that simultaneously occupy the same  general area The characteristics of populations are shaped by the interactions between individuals  and their environment Density – the number of individuals per unit area Dispersion – the pattern of spacing among individuals Three main patterns Clumped – individuals aggregate in patches Fish school to avoid predation Plants clump together in favorable sites Asexual reproduction may lead to clumps Uniform – individuals are evenly spaced Territories Competition for resources Random – position of each individual is independent of the others Reflect interactions with the environment Biotic and abiotic Food sources Favorable microsites Competition Predation Disease Size Distribution Population growth – the number of individuals present in a population depends on Birth Death 2 Population Ecology Immigration Emigration Exponential growth is observed in nature during founding events, or population recoveries, but  cannot continue indefinitely Occurs when resources are not limiting Elephant population in Kruger NP, South Africa grew exponentially after hunting was banned Carrying Capacity – the maximum stable population size a particular environment an support K can change depended on conditions Exponential growth model can be modified to incorporate K Logistic Growth Model – per capita rate of increase declines as carrying capacity, K, is  approached Results in a S­shaped or sigmoid population growth curve Unrealistic assumptions of the logistic growth model Constant reproduction All individuals have the same effects Instantaneous feedback But it does provide a basis from which we an compare real populations Life histor
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