2.3 Human Niches and Population:
(Pages 65-68) Homework: Page 68 # 5, 6
Key Concepts: (Page 68) The ecological niche of humans has been broadened by our intellectual abilities and the development of technology. Humans have altered the ecosystems that support us, so our carrying capacity is high
Modern human societies are still subject to the ecological principle of carrying capacity.
Human growth has rapidly accelerated over the past 400 years, with a current doubling time of less than one human lifetime.
An ecological footprint is used to describe the impact of a person’s or population’s consumption habits on the supporting ecosystems Watch This
The Human Niche: 1.What has the human brain allowed us to do to our ancestral niche and to our original carrying capacity? Human brain has allowed us to create our own niche as well as increase the carrying capacity of the biosphere for our population.
2. Sketch what you consider to be your own personal niche.
3. What are the two ways that carrying capacity can be increased?
Altering an ecosystem so that more energy and resources can be consumed. Altering behaviour of humans rather than the ecosystem itself.
4. What is the current doubling time of human population?
Ans. The current doubling time is 60 years. In the 1800’s, the doubling time was 200 years.
5. What is the sustainable carrying capacity for humans?
Carrying capacity for humans is linked with energy. The biosphere’s carrying capacity is 9-10 billion by the end of this century.
6. Define the following terms:
a) ecological footprint- A measure of the impact of an individual or a population on the environment in terms of energy consumption, land use, and waste production.
b) Unsustainable A pattern of activity that leads to a decline in the function of an ecosystem. c) Sustainability Use of Earth’s resources, including land and water, at levels that can continue forever.
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