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Population density

number of individuals per unit area

Age structure

proportion of people in different age groups in a population

Life tables

age-specific summaries of the survival pattern of a population

Survivorship curve

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

Life history

the traits that affect an organism's schedule of reproduction and survival

opportunistic life history

• Take immediate advantage of favorable conditions
• Typically exhibit a Type III survivorship curve

equilibrial life history

the pattern of reproducing when mature and producing few offspring but caring for the young (larger - bodied species)

Exponential population growth

The geometric increase of a population as it grows in an ideal, unlimited environment.

Limiting factors

environmental factors that restrict population growth

carrying capacity

largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support

logistic population growth

A model describing population growth that levels off as population size approaches carrying capacity

Intraspecific competition

competition between individuals for the same species for limited resources

density-dependent factor

a population limiting factor whose effects intensify as the population increases in density

density-independent factor

a population limiting factor whose intensity is unrelated to population density

Biological control

the intentional release of a natural enemy to attack a pest population


the process in which species exert selective pressure on each other and gradually evolve new features or behaviors as a result of those pressures

Population momentum

the potential for future increases or decreases in a population based on the present age structure

Ecological footprint

An estimate of the amount of land required to provide the raw materials an individual or a population consumes.

Endangered species

one that is in danger of extinction through out all or a significant portion of its range

Threatened species

defined as those that are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future

invasive species

a non-native species that has spread far beyond the original point of introduction and causes environmental or economic damage.

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