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CHAPTER 52 POPULATION ECOLOGY Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Section A: Characteristics of Populations 1.Two important characteristics of any population are density and the spacing of individuals 2. Demography is the study of factors that affect the growth and decline of populations
A population is a group of individuals of a single species that simultaneously occupy the same general area. The characteristics of populations are shaped by the interactions between individuals and their environment. Introduction Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Populations have size and geographical boundaries. The density of a population is measured as the number of individuals per unit area. The dispersion of a population is the pattern of spacing among individuals within the geographic boundaries. 1. The characteristics of populations are shaped by the interactions between individuals and their environment Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Measuring density of populations is a difficult task. We can count individuals; we can estimate population numbers. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 52.1
Unfortunately, it is usually impractical to attempt to count individuals in a population. One sampling technique that researchers use is known as the mark-recapture method. Individuals are trapped in an area and captured, marked with a tag, recorded, and then released. After a period of time has elapsed, traps are set again, and individuals are captured and identified. This information allows estimates of population changes to be made. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Patterns of dispersion. Within a population’s geographic range, local densities may vary considerably. Different dispersion patterns result within the range. Overall, dispersion depends on resource distribution. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Clumped dispersion is when individuals aggregate in patches. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 52.2a
By contrast, uniform dispersion is when individuals are evenly spaced. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 52.2b
In random dispersion, the position of each individual is independent of the others. Overall, dispersion depends on resource distribution. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Fig. 52.2c
Additions occur through birth, and subtractions occur through death. Demography studies the vital statistics that affect population size. Life tables and survivorship curves. A life table is an age-specific summary of the survival pattern of a population.aaa 2. Demography is the study of factors that affect the growth and decline of populations Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
The best way to construct life table is to follow a cohort, a group of individuals of the same age throughout their lifetime. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings Table 52.1
A graphic way of representing the data is a survivorship curve. This is a plot of the number of individuals in a cohort still alive at each age. A Type I curve shows a low death rate early in life (humans). The Type II curve shows constant mortality (squirrels). Type III curve shows a high death rate early in life (oysters). Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
Reproductive rates. Demographers that study populations usually ignore males, and focus on females because only females give birth to offspring. A reproductive table is an age-specific summary of the reproductive rates in a population. For sexual species, the table tallies the number of female offspring produced by each age group. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
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