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FW 491 – Online Ecological Module By: Jessica Caton.

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1 FW 491 – Online Ecological Module By: Jessica Caton

2 Introduction to Population Ecology What is a population? – A group of individuals of a single species inhabiting a specific area (Molles 2010, p. 202) Areas of study involved – Population genetics – Population dynamics

3 Population Dynamics An area of population ecology concerned with the factors influencing the expansion, decline, or maintenance of populations (Molles 2010, p. 222) Increases = Birth and Immigration Decreases = Death and Emigration

4 Population Dynamics (con’t) Important for ecology to understand/prevent decline and extinction of endangered species

5 Antarctic Species of Interest: Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) Physical appearance: – Medium-sized (2 feet tall), black and white – Angular head and tiny bill – White eyering – Longest feather on body is the tail Smallest penguin in Antarctica One of the pack ice Antarctic penguins Most numerous bird in Antarctica

6 Adélie Penguins and Climate Change One of the best studied birds Changing population of species: numbers dropped a third Sea-ice decline, Adélie penguin populations decline Evolution of environmental instability?

7 Life Tables A table that uses age specific information to estimate important population dynamic traits on a population Types of life tables: – a table based on individuals born (or beginning life in some other way) at same time (Molles 2010, p. 230) – Static life table: a life table constructed by recording the age at death of a large number of individuals; a snapshot of survival within a population during a short interval of time (Molles 2010, p. 231)

8 Life Table Summary Time Cohort (horizontal) Composite Time-specific (static, vertical)

9 Data Collection for Life Table

10 Variables in Life Tables n x l x m x l x m x R 0 R 0 = ∑l x m x

11 Survival and Mortality in a Population of Adélie Penguins (Ainley & DeMaster 1980)

12 Survivorship Curve A graphical summary of patterns of survival in a population (Molles 2010, p. 231) Three types: – Type 1 = High mortality in older individuals – Type 2 =Constant mortality rate – Type 3 =High mortality in juveniles

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