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54: Ecology of Individuals and Populations

  • Page ID
    73883
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    • 54.1: The Environmental Challenges
    • 54.2: Populations, Groups of Single Species in One Place
    • 54.3: Population Demography and Dynamics
      Populations are dynamic entities. Populations consist all of the species living within a specific area, and populations fluctuate based on a number of factors: seasonal and yearly changes in the environment, natural disasters such as forest fires and volcanic eruptions, and competition for resources between and within species. The statistical study of population dynamics, demography, uses a series of mathematical tools to investigate how populations respond to changes in their environments.
    • 54.4: Life History and the Cost of Reproduction
      A species’ life history describes the series of events over its lifetime, such as how resources are allocated for growth, maintenance, and reproduction. Life history traits affect the life table of an organism. A species’ life history is genetically determined and shaped by the environment and natural selection.
    • 54.5: Environmental Limits to Population Growth
      Although life histories describe the way many characteristics of a population (such as their age structure) change over time in a general way, population ecologists make use of a variety of methods to model population dynamics mathematically. These more precise models can then be used to accurately describe changes occurring in a population and better predict future changes.
    • 54.6: Factors that Regulate Populations
      The logistic model of population growth, while valid in many natural populations and a useful model, is a simplification of real-world population dynamics. Implicit in the model is that the carrying capacity of the environment does not change, which is not the case. The carrying capacity varies annually: for example, some summers are hot and dry whereas others are cold and wet. In many areas, the carrying capacity during the winter is much lower than it is during the summer.
    • 54.7: Human Population Growth
      Although humans have increased the carrying capacity of their environment, the technologies used to achieve this transformation have caused unprecedented changes to Earth’s environment, altering ecosystems to the point where some may be in danger of collapse. The depletion of the ozone layer, erosion due to acid rain, and damage from global climate change are caused by human activities. The ultimate effect of these changes on our carrying capacity is unknown.


    54: Ecology of Individuals and Populations is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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