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Population Growth. General Principles. The potential size of a population is limited in an ecosystem is limited. Limiting factors include food, nesting sites, and similar factors. (births - deaths) + (immigrants - emigrants) = change in population size.

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## Population Growth

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**General Principles**• The potential size of a population is limited in an ecosystem is limited. Limiting factors include food, nesting sites, and similar factors. • (births - deaths) + (immigrants - emigrants) = change in population size. • Biotic potential can lead to exponential growth, but there is always an upper limit.**Exponential Growth**Exponential growth produces a J-shaped population graph.**Growth Rates**Age of first reproduction affects the rate of population growth.**Death Rates**Average lifespan also affects growth rate.**Carrying Capacity**# births = # deaths The upper limit for population growth is determined by the carrying capacity of the environment.**Overshooting Capacity**If a population overshoots the carrying capacity of the environment, the result is a population crash.**Logistic Growth**Available space limits barnacle populations. Where there are many natural controls, populations tend to demonstrate logistic growth.**Population Crash**Where there are few natural controls, a population may rise rapidly, exceed carrying capacity, then crash as most of the population starves.**Human Growth Curve**What is carrying capacity for humans? What happens if we have overshot it?**Age Structures**Why are these so different? What may be the consequences?**Worldwide Populations**Why are these so different? What may be the consequences?**U.S. Population**Where are we on the S-shaped curve? What factors could cause our population to stabilize?**Easter Island**• The culture that built these statues on Easter Island overshot the island’s carrying capacity, severely damaging the ecosystem, and crashed. • What lessons can today’s world population learn from this?

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