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Chapter 11 Intraspecific Population Regulation. I. Population growth curves No population grows indefinitely –Will confront the limits of environment.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 11 Intraspecific Population Regulation. I. Population growth curves No population grows indefinitely –Will confront the limits of environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 11 Intraspecific Population Regulation

2 I. Population growth curves No population grows indefinitely –Will confront the limits of environment –Most do not grow exponentially Interactions tend to regulate population’s size

3 II. Regulation by growth mechanisms 1.Density-dependence = regulation by mechanisms controlled by size of population 2.Density-independence = effects of influence do not change with population density

4 1. Density-dependent Effect increases as population size increases No influence at low density Larger population / more individuals affected Largely through competition for resources

5 2. Density-independent Effects do not change with population density Proportion of individuals affected – same at any density Can have significant impact on populations Can mask or eliminate density- dependent regulation

6 III. Competition Among same species individuals for resources One aspect of population regulation 2 kinds of competition –Scramble competition—no one receives enough of the resource –Contest competition—some claim enough and deny others a share

7 Limited resource will cause species to exhibit only one type of competition Scramble competition—produces chaotic oscillations in populations –Wastes resources—limits average density to below carrying capacity of habitat Contest competition—causes a fraction to suffer (unsuccessful individuals) –Eliminates waste of resources –Permits maintenance of high density

8 As populations increase toward insufficient resources, scrambling competition reduces food intake. this slows growth and limits reproduction seen in overstocking of fish vertebrates fecundity affected Biomass—a function of accumulated living tissue can be few large or many smaller individuals

9 IV. Aggression High density causes stress Aggressive contacts increases Stress triggers hyperactivation endocrine glands –Suppresses growth, reproduction and immune system

10 V. Coping with stress Pheromones encourage or inhibit reproduction Seeking new vacant habitat—dispersal –Success rate low –Few arrive at suitable habitat and flourish Dispersal before resource depletion is important with low density

11 VI. Dispersal Individuals dispersed are normally in good condition, either sex, any age—good chance of survival Relocation habitats have increased resources + breeding sites, decreased competition Distance relative to availability of habitat Requires a source and sink

12 VII. Social issues of populations Social behavior limits populations: 1.Surplus animals, not breeding, or attempting and failing 2.Prevented from breeding 3.Removal of dominant animals results in breeding of surplus animals 4.Breeding animals not using all space or food

13 Social organization Common in populations Based on aggressiveness, intolerance and dominance of one over another 2 opposing forces at work –Mutual attraction –Negative reaction against crowding and need for personal space

14 Simple social organization Alpha individual—dominant over all Beta—dominant over all except alpha Omega—subordinate to all Rankings established by fighting, bluffing, threatening Ranking maintained by habitual subordination and punishment Important for populations—stabilizes intraspecific competition –Resolves disputes with minimal energy

15 IX. Movement and distribution The space occupied during a year = home range –May differ with sex –Not defended Range defended = territory –Varies with availability of food Size of territory –Carnivores > herbivores/omnivores –Dominant > subordinate –Males > females –Adults > subadults

16 Territoriality Animal defends exclusive area no shared with rivals Occurs in regular patterns of distribution Costly in energy and time –May interfere with breeding, feeding and rearing of young Quality territory = dominant male Floating reserve—evicted individuals

17 X. Territory vs home ranges Indicates the carrying capacity Management becomes ecological/economical problem Plants can be territorial –Shading and competition for nutrients –Release of organic toxins

18 XI. Review Density dependent influences  population growth and fecundity Density independent factors may be more important –May eliminate density dependent factors –May go beyond a limit of tolerance


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