Ch. 8 - Study Guide - Chapter 8 Study Guide Chapter 8...

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Study Guide - Chapter 8 Study Guide – Chapter 8 Population dynamics is the study of how populations change through time, particularly the distribution , abundance (total numbers of individuals) and density (number of individuals per unit area) and age structure . If we understand dynamics of living organisms, we understand the environmental variables that affect populations and communities, which allows us to try and conduct our activities with as little impact on natural systems as possible. Obviously we have a long way to go. Most populations in nature have a clumped distribution, in ecological lingo we call them overdispersed . This makes sense, as water, soil types, vegetation, etc. often occur in disjunct (patchy) distributions, and the living organisms respond to these resources accordingly. As the book also mentions, living in a group can increase your chances of survival (prey packs), increase your chances of finding food (predator packs), and increase the likelihood of reproducing, the most critical part of the natural selection game. Populations change size through the combined effects of reproduction , mortality , immigration , and emigration . If these factors are balanced, a population will stay about the same size, if one or more of them change substantially, populations will increase or decline. We have already looked at the human population, immigration and emigration continue to move people around, but our population growth on a world scale is primarily due to stable birth rates and falling death rates – the world population is in a demographic transition. Most species live longer than one year, and hence also have an age structure ; again, we have looked at the age structure of the human population, and the consequences of different types of age structures (remember expansive and constrictive? Pre-reproductive, reproductive, and post-
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course RNR 1001 taught by Professor W.kelso during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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Ch. 8 - Study Guide - Chapter 8 Study Guide Chapter 8...

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