natural science week 14 chapter 14 population ecology n.
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Natural science: Week 14 Chapter 14: Population Ecology . Monday, April 14 th , 2014. POPULATION ECOLOGY. Population. What is a population? What types of populations are there? Human Population? What is the planet’s limit for human population?. 2010: World population = 6.9 billion

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What is a population?

What types of populations are there?

Human Population?

What is the planet’s limit for human population?

2010: World population = 6.9 billion

Predicted to ‘level out’ at 9.1 billion ~2050

population ecology1
Population Ecology

Ecology: the field of biology that focuses on the interactions among and between populations and their environment(s).

Population: all of the individuals of a particular species within a given area.

Structure of populations:

  • What level of the population?
  • Distribution?
  • Abundance?
  • Dynamics?
population structure
Population Structure
  • Size?
  • Dispersion?
  • Uniform or random distribution?
  • Changing through time?
  • Birth rates/Death rates
  • Infant Mortality
levels of population
Levels of Population
  • Individual
  • Populations of same species
  • Communities of interacting species
  • Effect of biological activities on the biological environment
population structure1
Population Structure
  • How do we determine population size and structure?
    • Mark-capture method: capture individuals, tag them, and then release them; then, capture again, and determine what proportion of the population are tagged.
population distrubution
Population Distrubution
  • Dispersion of a population: how they are distributed in space
      • Clumped: high densities of individuals in certain resource-rich areas, low densities elsewhere
      • Uniform: densities dispersed in a uniform manner across a habitat
      • Random: there is no compelling factor that is actively bringing individuals together or pushing them apart.
exponential population growth
Exponential Population Growth
  • Exponential growth: growth that occurs in proportion to the current total
    • Results in a J-shaped growth curve
limits to population growth
Limits to Population Growth

Populations have the capacity to grow exponentially; however, there are limitations

  • Resources – food, water, shelter, space

carrying capacity: the maximum population that can be supported indefinitely in a given environment

Resource-limited population have an S-shaped growth curve. (logistic growth curve – page 345)

Density-dependent vs. Density Independent Factors

carrying capacity for humans
Carrying Capacity for Humans
  • Is our population reaching its carrying capacity on Earth?
  • Look at the logistic growth curve:
  • Our needs:
  • Food
  • Clean water
  • Clean air
  • Energy for essentials

Renewable vs. nonrenewable resources!

future of the human population
Future of the Human Population
  • Managing population growth is essential.
  • If a population overshoots the carrying capacity, a severe decline in population with occur.
  • This pattern of ‘boom & crash’ can happen over and over again in a population.
  • Look at another way of tracking populations: the population pyramid.
    • Changing/growing populations resembles a true pyramid
    • Stable populations look like a column
ways to slow population growth
Ways to Slow Population Growth

Improve conditions for women – increase access to:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Job market
  • Tools and information to regulate fertility
  • Slowing grow rates has other benefits:
    • Better quality of life
    • Less human impact on nature
human populations
Human Populations