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Population Ecology

Population Ecology

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Population Ecology

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  1. Population Ecology G. Tyler Miller’s Living in the Environment 14th Edition Chapter 9 Pages 163-174

  2. Key Concepts • Factors affecting population size • Species reproductive patterns • Species survivorship patterns • Conservation biology and human impacts on ecosystems

  3. CASE STUDY: Sea Otters • live in kelp forests • eat sea urchins • hunted in 1900s • 1977 declared endangered • Increased from 300 to 2800 • keystone species •  protect kelp forest OMG

  4. 9-1 Population Dynamics and Carrying Capacity OBJ 9.1 • Population dynamics • study of how populations change in size, density, and age distribution • populations respond to their environment • change according to distribution

  5. Factors Governing Changes in Population Size Four variable births, deaths, immigration and emigration Population Change = (births + immigration) – (deaths + emigration) OBJ 9.2

  6. Age Structure Stages • PREREPRODUCTIVE AGE • - Not mature enough to reproduce • REPRODUCTIVE AGE • - Capable of reproducing • POSTREPRODUCTIVE AGE • - too old to reproduce

  7. LIMITING FACTOR OBJ 9.3 DEFINITION: anything that tends to make it more difficult for a species to live and grow, or reproduce in its environment ABIOTIC - temperature - water - climate/weather - soils (mineral component) BIOTIC - competition:  interspecific and intraspecific- predation/parasitism - amensalism- mutualism

  8. LIMITS TO POPULATION GROWTH: Resources & Competition Biotic potential: capacity for growth Intrinsic rate of increase (r): rate at which a population would grow if it had unlimited resources Environmental resistance: all factors that act to limit the growth of a population Carrying Capacity (K): maximum # of individuals of a given species that can be sustained indefinitely in a given space (area or volume) Fig. 9-3 p. 166

  9. Exponential and Logistic Growth OBJ 9.4 LOGISTIC GROWTH - Rapid exp. growth followed by steady dec. in pop. Growth w/time until pop. Size levels off • EXPONENTIAL GROWTH • Population w/few resource limitations; grows at a fixed rate

  10. OBJ 9.5

  11. Population Density Effects OBJ 9.6 • Density-independent controls - floods, hurricanes, unseasonable weather, fire, habitat destruction, pesticide spraying, pollution - EX: Severe freeze in spring can kill plant pop. regardless of density • Density-dependent controls - competition for resources, predation, parasitism, infectious diseases - EX: Bubonic plague swept through European cities in 14th century

  12. Natural Population Curves OBJ 9.7 Fig. 9-7 p. 168

  13. STABLE pop. Size fluctuates above or below its carrying capacity Stable population size EX: undisturbed tropical rain forests IRRUPTIVE pop. Growth occasionally explodes to a high peak then crashes to stable low level EX: Algae, insects CYCLIC Fluctuations occur in cycles over a regular time period EX: Lynx & snowshoe hare IRREGULAR No recurring pattern in changes of population size

  14. The Role of Predation in Controlling Population Size OBJ 9.8 • Bottom-up control - the hare pop. may cause changes in lynx pop. • Top-down control - lynx preying on hares periodically reduce the hare pop. Fig. 9-8 p. 168

  15. How do Species Reproduce ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION all offspring are exact genetic copies of a single parent Common in single celled species (bacteria) Each cell divides to produce 2 identical cells SEXUAL REPRODUCTION Organisms produce offspring by combining sex cells or gametes from both parents Produces offspring with combination of genetic traits from each parent Provides greater genetic diversity in offspring DISADVANTAGES Males do not give birth Increased chance of genetic errors and defects Courtship & mating rituals consume time & energy and transmit diseases

  16. Reproductive Patterns and Survival OBJ 9.10 • r-selected species vs. K-selected species Fig. 9-10 p. 170

  17. Survivorship Curves OBJ 9.11 • Shows the % of members in a pop. Surviving at different ages • LATE LOSS • High survivorship to certain age; then high mortality • EX: elephants, rhinos, humans • CONSTANT LOSS • Fairly constant death rate at all ages • EX: songbirds • EARLY LOSS • Survivorship is low early in life • EX: annual plants, bony fish sp. Fig. 9-11 p. 171

  18. Human Impacts on Ecosystems • Habitat degradation and fragmentation • Ecosystem simplification • Genetic resistance • Predator elimination • Introduction of non-native species • Overharvesting renewable resources • Interference with ecological systems