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Population Dynamics

Major abiotic and biotic factors that tend to increase or decrease the population size and affect the age and sex composition of a species.

Clumped distribution

the most common type of population distribution where many members of the population live close together.

Uniform Distribution

approximately the same distance may be found between individual organisms.

Random Dispersion

Is the tendency for populations to be found randomly about their habitat

Age Structure

Number of people of each sex at each age level with in a population.

Biotic Potential

Maximum rate at which the population of a given species can increase when there are no limits on its rate of growth.

Intrinsic rate of increase (r)

Rate at which a population could grow if it had unlimited resources.

Environmental resistance

All the limiting factors that tend to reduce population growth rates and set the maximum allowable population size or carrying capacity of an ecosystem

Carrying Capacity (K)

The maximum number of individuals of a given species that a particular environment can support for an indefinite period, assuming there are no changes in the environment

Logistic Growth

Pattern in which exponential population growth occurs when the population is small, and population growth decreases steadily with time as the population approaches the carrying capacity. See S-shaped curve.

exponential growth

Growth of a population in an ideal, unlimited environment, represented by a J-shaped curve when population size is plotted over time.

population density

Number of organisms in a particular population found in a specified area or volume.

Sexual Reproduction

process in which genetic material from two parents combines and produces offspring that differ genetically from either parent

asexual reproduction

A type of reproduction involving only one parent that produces genetically identical offspring by budding or by the division of a single cell or the entire organism into two or more parts.

r-selected species

reproduce early in life and often, high capacity for reproductive growth

k-selected species

reproduce later in life, produce fewer offspring, devote significant time and energy to nurturing their offspring

survivorship curve

Graph showing the number of survivors in different age groups for a particular species.

Flickr Creative Commons Images

Some images used in this set are licensed under the Creative Commons through Flickr.com. Click to see the original works with their full license.

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