04 Population Dynamics - Population Dynamics Chad K. Bush...

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Population Dynamics Chad K. Bush December 8, 2005 Bryant Bowen
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Abstract This experiment involved both a study of population dynamics and an example of natural selection. There are two stages in which the experiment was performed. The first phase had primarily to do with population dynamics and examining a population in a microcosmic, test- tube environment; the second phase was a simulation of how natural selection could affect the dynamics of a population of paper “fish”. Introduction Whenever a population is introduced to an environment and is met with no environmental resistance, the population undergoes what is called exponential growth, and the highest growth rate for a population during this phase of population dynamics is called the biotic potential. (Lee 105) No population grows unchecked because negative factors affect the rate of growth such as death, disease, predation, poor environmental conditions and emigration. These negative factors are coupled with positive factors such as birth, good environmental conditions and immigration. These factors can be categorized as either density-dependent factors if the factor depends on the number of individuals in the population (such as food availability) or density-independent factors if the factor does not depend on the number of individuals in the population (such as a snow storm or Hurricane Katrina). Whenever equilibrium is reached between the rate of population growth and the pull of negative factors against growth, the population is said to reach its environmental carrying capacity (represented by the letter “K”). By placing confused flower beetles in these test tubes with the resources present, an attempt at creating a small ecosystem was made. This was done not only out of interest in population dynamics, but also to discover what happens when suddenly a population (such as humans) outgrows its environment (such as 1
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the Earth). Natural selection selects for or against one or more of the phenotypes for a trait. (O’Neil
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This lab report was uploaded on 02/21/2008 for the course BIOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Gradlabta during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .

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04 Population Dynamics - Population Dynamics Chad K. Bush...

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