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Population ecology
 

Population ecology

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  • 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, captured, tagged, recorded, and then released. After a period of time individuals are recaptured. This information allows estimates of population changes to be made

Population ecology Population ecology Presentation Transcript

  • Chapter 53 Population Ecology
  • Population- an interbreeding group ofindividuals of a single species that occupy thesame general areaCommunity-the assemblage of interactingpopulations that inhabit the same area.Ecosystem- comprised of 1 or morecommunities and the abiotic environment withinan area.
  • The characteristics of populations are shaped by the interactions between individuals and their environment• 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. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • MEASURING DENSITYDensity – Number of individuals per unit of area. •Determination of Density •Counting Individuals •Estimates By Counting Individuals •Estimates By Indirect Indicators •Mark-recapture Method N = (Number Marked) X (Catch Second Time) Number Of Marked Recaptures
  • • Measuring density of populations is a difficult task. – We can count individuals; we can estimate population numbers. Fig. 52.1Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • PATTERN OF DISPERSIONUNIFORM CLUMPED RANDOM
  • • 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 DispersionCopyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Uniform Dispersion
  • Random Dispersion Fig. 52.2cCopyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Demography is the study of factorsthat affect the growth and decline of populations• 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. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Population Dynamics •Characteristics of Dynamics •Size •Density •Dispersal •Immigration •Emigration •Births/ natality •Deaths/ mortality •Survivorship
  • Parameters that effect size or density of a population: Immigration Birth Population (N) Death Emigration Figure 1. The size of a population is determined by a balance between births, immigration, deaths and emigration
  • Age Structure: the proportion of individuals in eachage class of a population Age Pyramid Female Male Age Interval ~ y 8-9 6-7 4-5 2-3 0-1 -10.0 -5.0 0.0 5.0 10.0 Percent of Population Figure 2. Age pyramid. Notice that it is split into two halves for male and female members of the population.
  • • The best way to construct life table is to follow a cohort, a group of individuals of the same age throughout their lifetime. Table 52.1Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • –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).
  • Survivorship Curve
  • • 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
  • Reproductive Table Table 52.2Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Life History• The traits that affect an organism’s schedule of reproduction and survival make up its life history. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Life histories are very diverse, but they exhibit patterns in their variability• Life histories are a result of natural selection, and often parallel environmental factors.• Some organisms, such as the agave plant,exhibit what is known as big-bang reproduction, where large numbers of offspring are produced in each reproduction, after which the individual often dies. Agaves
  • – This is also known as semelparity.• By contrast, some organisms produce only a few eggs during repeated reproductive episodes. – This is also known as iteroparity.• What factors contribute to the evolution of semelparity and iteroparity?Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Limited resources mandate trade-offs between investments in reproduction and survival• The life-histories represent an evolutionary resolution of several conflicting demands. – Sometimes we see trade-offs between survival and reproduction when resources are limited. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • • For example, red deer show a higher mortality rate in winters following reproductive episodes. Fig. 52.5Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • • Variations also occur in seed crop size in plants. – The number of offspring produced at each reproductive episode exhibits a trade-off between number and quality of offspring. dandelion Coconut palm
  • The exponential model of population describes an idealized population in an unlimited environment• We define a change in population size based on the following verbal equation.Change in population = Births during – Deaths duringsize during time interval time interval time intervalCopyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • • Using mathematical notation we can express this relationship as follows: – If N represents population size, and t represents time, then ∆N is the change is population size and ∆t represents the change in time, then: ∀∆N/∆t = B-D • Where B is the number of births and D is the number of deathsCopyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • – We can simplify the equation and use r to represent the difference in per capita birth and death rates. ∀ ∆N/∆t = rN OR dN/dt = rN– If B = D then there is zero population growth (ZPG).– Under ideal conditions, a population grows rapidly. • Exponential population growth is said to be happening • Under these conditions, we may assume the maximum growth rate for the population (rmax) to give us the following exponential growth • dN/dt = rmaxN
  • Fig. 52.9Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • The logistic model ofpopulation growth incorporatesthe concept of carrying capacity• Typically, unlimited resources are rare. – Population growth is therefore regulated by carrying capacity (K), which is the maximum stable population size a particular environment can support. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Example of Exponential Growth Kruger National Park, South Africa
  • POPULATION GROWTH RATELOGISTIC GROWTH RATE Assumes that the rate of population growth slows as the population size approaches carrying capacity, leveling to a constant level. S-shaped curveCARRYING CAPACITY The maximum sustainable population a particular environment can support over a long period of time.
  • Figure 52.11 Population growth predicted by the logistic model
  • • How well does the logistic model fit the growth of real populations? – The growth of laboratory populations of some animals fits the S-shaped curves fairly well. Stable population Seasonal increase
  • – Some of the assumptions built into the logistic model do not apply to all populations. • It is a model which provides a basis from which we can compare real populations. Severe Environmental Impact
  • • The logistic population growth model and life histories. – This model predicts different growth rates for different populations, relative to carrying capacity. • Resource availability depends on the situation. • The life history traits that natural selection favors may vary with population density and environmental conditions. • In K-selection, organisms live and reproduce around K, and are sensitive to population density. • In r-selection, organisms exhibit high rates of reproduction and occur in variable environments in which population densities fluctuate well below K.Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • K-Selected Species• Poor colonizers• Slow maturity• Long-lived• Low fecundity• High investment in care for the young• Specialist• Good competitors
  • r-Selected Species• Good colonizers• Reach sexual maturity rapidly• Short-lived• High fecundity• Low investment in care for the young• Generalists• Poor competitors
  • Introduction • Why do all populations eventually stop growing? • What environmental factors stop a population from growing? • The first step to answering these questions is to examine the effects of increased population density.Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Density-Dependent Factors• limiting resources (e.g., food & shelter)• production of toxic wastes• infectious diseases• predation• stress• emigration
  • Density-Independent Factors• severe storms and flooding• sudden unpredictable severe cold spells• earthquakes and volcanoes• catastrophic meteorite impacts
  • • Density-dependent factors increase their affect on a population as population density increases. – This is a type of negative feedback. • Density-independent factors are unrelated to population density, and there is no feedback to slow population growth. Fig. 52.13Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Negative feedback prevents unlimited population growth• A variety of factors can cause negative feedback. – Resource limitation in crowded populations can stop population growth by reducing reproduction.
  • • Intraspecific competition for food can also cause density-dependent behavior of populations. – Territoriality. – Predation.
  • – Waste accumulation is another component that can regulate population size. • In wine, as yeast populations increase, they make more alcohol during fermentation. • However, yeast can only withstand an alcohol percentage of approximately 13% before they begin to die. – Disease can also regulate population growth, because it spreads more rapidly in dense populations.Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Population dynamics reflect a complex interaction of biotic and abiotic influences• Carrying capacity can vary.• Year-to-year data can be helpful in analyzing population growth.
  • • Some populations fluctuate erratically, based on many factors. Fig. 52.18Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • • Other populations have regular boom-and- bust cycles. – There are populations that fluctuate greatly. – A good example involves the lynx and snowshoe hare that cycle on a ten year basis.
  • Models to study population growth & interaction• A population model is a type of mathematical model that is applied to the study of population dynamics.• Models allow a better understanding of how complex interactions and processes work. Modelling of dynamic interactions in nature can provide a manageable way of understanding how numbers change over time or in relation to each other.
  • Logistic growth equation:Lotka-Volterra equation:Island biogeography: Species area:
  • Introduction• Humans are not exempt from natural processes. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • The human population has beengrowing almost exponentially for threecenturies but cannot do so indefinitely• The human population increased relatively slowly until about 1650 when the Plague took an untold number of lives. – Ever since, human population numbers have doubled twice • How might this population increase stop?
  • POPULATION CYCLESHUMAN POPULATION 1650 - 500,000,000 1850 - ONE BILLION 1930 - TWO BILLION 1975 - FOUR BILLION 2010 – SIX BILLION 2017 - EIGHT BILLION
  • Fig. 52.20Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Human Growth Rate 1.15 - 2005
  • • The Demographic Transition. – A regional human population can exist in one of 2 configurations. • Zero population growth = high birth rates – high death rates. • Zero population growth = low birth rates – low death rates. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • – The movement from the first toward the second state is called the demographic transition. Fig. 52.21 Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • • Age structure. – Age structure is the relative number of individuals of each age. – Age structure diagrams can reveal a population’s growth trends, and can point to future social conditions. Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Fig. 52.22Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Changes in populations• ΔN = +B +I –D –E – B = births (birth rate) – I = immigrants (immigration rate) – D = deaths (death rate) – E = emigrants (emigration rate) – (for many [most] natural populations I and E are minimal) Populations.ppt 60
  • Estimating Earth’s carrying capacity for humans is a complex problem• Predictions of the human population vary from 7.3 to 10.7 billion people by the year 2050. – Will the earth be overpopulated by this time? Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • • Wide range of estimates for carrying capacity. – What is the carrying capacity of Earth for humans? – This question is difficult to answer. • Estimates are usually based on food, but human agriculture limits assumptions on available amounts.• Ecological footprint. – Humans have multiple constraints besides food. – The concept an of ecological footprint uses the idea of multiple constraints.
  • • For each nation, we can calculate the aggregate land and water area in various ecosystem categories. • Six types of ecologically productive areas are distinguished in calculating the ecological footprint: – Land suitable for crops. – Pasture. – Forest. – Ocean. – Built-up land. – Fossil energy land.Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings
  • Tthe ecological footprints in relation to available ecological capacity.
  • – We may never know Earth’s carrying capacity for humans, but we have the unique responsibility to decide our fate and the fate of the rest of the biosphere.Copyright © 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings