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Unformatted text preview: fluctuations 2) human populations can alter their own carrying capacity First problem is complex, but its clear that given our long generation length and offspring dependency, humans can't track short-term fluctuations in limiting factors; at best, we are adapted to some medium-term minimum Second problem relates to choice and flexibility, and capacity for behavioral and cultural change: alterations of technology, economic organization, rules of land use, even religious beliefs can significantly alter equilibrium population size in a given area This means that K is niche-specific, not set by environment per se; according to Joel Cohen (1995:343), this is a uniquely human attribute However, some would argue this is a matter of degree, since non-human species also respond to population pressure ( N approaching K ) with niche shifts and other behavioral and/or physiological changes that in turn alter K...
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- Fall '10