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population density

the number of individuals of a given species per unit area

age structure

the number of males and females of each age contained within a population


moving into a region; increased population density results


moving out of a region; decreased population density results

exponential growth

the larger a population gets, the faster it grows; under ideal conditions with unlimited resources, this will occur

logistic growth

occurs when a population's growth slows then stops, following a period of exponential growth

carrying capacity

the maximum number of individuals of a species that an environment can support

limiting factor

controls the growth of a population

density-dependent limiting factors

operate strongly only when the population reaches a certain level; include competition, predation, herbivory, parasitism, disease, and stress from overcrowding

density-independent limiting factors

affect all populations in similar ways; unusual weather such as hurricanes, droughts, or floods and natural disasters such as wildfires


the scientific study of human populations; includes birthrates, death rates, and the age structure of a population and serves to predict why some countries have higher growth rates than others

demographic transition

a dramatic change from high birth rates and death rates to low birth rates and death rates experienced in recent decades in developed countries

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