lecture 5 - Introduction Animal Populations-> predator-prey...

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Introduction Animal Populations -> predator-prey model - As pop. Of prey (hares) increases, pop. Of predator (lynx) increases - As pop. Of predator increases, pop. Of prey decreases, thereby causing pop. Of predator to decrease Feedback mechanism -> forces which bring numbers back into line with capacity of local environment to support them What about human populations? Does the same thing happen? Thomas Malthus (pg 103- 104) professor of history and political economy - Influence of his book – e.g. Darwin, (progress and survival of the fittest) - Basic ideas of Malthus’s argument: o Food supply increases in a linear fashion 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. o Population increases in a geometric fashion (exponential) 1, 2, 3, 4, 16 etc. o As a result, population growth will ultimately create stress on the means of subsistence, i.e. it will exceed the carrying capacity of the environment, resulting in ‘war, vice, and misery’ i.e. natural “checks” that limit further population increases Was Malthus correct? What does the evidence suggest?
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