Lecture_34_DulaiS09_Population

Lecture_34_DulaiS09_Population - ECOLOGY Section Start...

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ECOLOGY Section Start
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HISTORY The past is a very valuable The past is a very valuable asset to consider in biology asset to consider in biology Trends Trends Evidence Evidence Predictions Predictions
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Once upon a time… There was paradise And it was called EASTER ISLAND
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•I n 1722 , on Easter morning , an English explorer landed on Easter Island in the Pacific – He found a few hundred hungry people hiding in caves –He saw no trees and burned grasslands – He saw 100’s heavy rock statues lined up on the shores • Cpt. James Cook landed on the same island two years later - he saw 4 canoes and the statues tipped over on spikes • What happened here?
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Easter Island Paradise • The island is just 165 sq km in size • Around 1600 years ago settlers from other Pacific islands came to this paradise – Dense forest and fertile soils – Built canoes from large trees and cooked fish with the wood – Cleared forest to plant crops – Had many children
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Paradise gone! Paradise gone! Mid 1400 Mid 1400 s s - - 10,000 to 15,000 were living on 10,000 to 15,000 were living on the island the island Crop yields had declined Crop yields had declined Fish had vanished from costal waters Fish had vanished from costal waters Erosion and harvesting had depleted the soil Erosion and harvesting had depleted the soil All birds had been eaten All birds had been eaten People were raising rats as food People were raising rats as food They erected stone symbols to the Gods They erected stone symbols to the Gods
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Paradise lost! By 1550 By 1550 s s No No one fished offshore one fished offshore No No one built canoes one built canoes - - no suitable trees no suitable trees No No fire wood remained, as all the trees fire wood remained, as all the trees were felled were felled They then turned to their last source of They then turned to their last source of protein protein - - each other each other - - cannibalism! cannibalism!
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Decline The government collapsed The government collapsed Small gangs began to fight each other Small gangs began to fight each other They burned grasslands to prevent They burned grasslands to prevent surprise attacks and began hiding in surprise attacks and began hiding in caves caves Winners ate losers Winners ate losers They toppled each others statues onto They toppled each others statues onto spikes spikes
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Lessons learnt • The Easter Island society flourished when resources were abundant - “J” curve • That same society fell apart when the resources became limiting • The lesson here is that all populations are governed by the same principles of growth and sustainability no matter how large or small, or who This is ECOLOGY This is ECOLOGY
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Population Ecology Introduction & Populations
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The human growth curve
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because it looks like the letter J! • Wars and plagues have little impact on
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2010 for the course SS 101 taught by Professor Denver during the Spring '10 term at Alabama.

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Lecture_34_DulaiS09_Population - ECOLOGY Section Start...

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