Chapter 54 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Kamini Persaud

54: Population Ecology 54.1: How do ecologists study populations? Population: all the individuals of a species in a given area. At any given moment, an individual of a certain age and size is in one spot, while the members of the population are distributed over space and they differ in age and size. Population structure: age distribution of individuals and how they are spread over the environment Population density: individualsunit area (land) or volume (water)have a strong influence over how individuals interact Demographic events: changes in population structure over time due to births, death, immigration, and emigrationthese events create population dynamics Demography: study of the events stated above (births, deaths, immigration, emigration) Tracking individuals: individuals are often taggedmarked in some way to facilitate research o Tracking devices: may provide addition physiological and environmental data o Molecular markers: i.e. hydrogen isotopes have been used to determine where American redstarts molt during their migrations reflect the latitude at which the feathers grew because there is a strong latitudinal gradient of these isotopes in precipitation Measuring population density: counting every individual in a population is often not possible. Statistical methods to estimate population size from samples are implied Population densities can be estimated from samples Capture, mark, recapture: for sedentary organisms o Capture a sample of individuals, mark al of them, release them into general population, capture another small sample o Proportion of marked individuals in the new sample is used to estimated the population size o m 2n2=n 1Nnumber of marked individuals in 2 sample# of individuals in 2 sample=# of individuals in 1 sampletotal population
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