Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Discover the Biological Sciences

The introductory information for this site has been contributed as a joint assignment by students in Bio. Sci. 10.

Ecology - Population Dynamics

By: Jeni Leavens

1) Biological field or sub-topic chosen:

Population dynamics

2) Define field or sub-topic:

Population dynamics is the study of the numbers of populations and the variations of these numbers in time and space. A demographer will study numbers of people; an ecologist will study the numbers of organisms of different species and their numerical relationship to each other.

3) Describe in more detail the breath and depth of what could be studied or learned within this topic:

Population dynamics is a division of mathematical biology, which has been around for over 200 years. It studies the way that population numbers grow and shrink as time goes by. Most populations have two kinds of input, one is by birth and the other is by immigration. Populations have the same two outputs, death and emigration. If there are more inputs than outputs, the population will increase. If there are more outputs than inputs, then it will shrink. If both the inputs and the outputs are equal, the size of the population will not change. Population density, the number of individuals per unit area, is also a part of population dynamics. Population dynamics are mainly for human concerns. Some examples are: The scale of resource use, how population numbers influence the amount of pollutants produced, human population density and how the struggle for resources can result in undesirable human behavior, and how humans are reliant on other biologic populations (plants and animals).

4) Focusing on one major concept, principle, or group of organisms (as appropriate within the topic), describe its importance, relationships, functional aspects, or otherwise explain it in more depth as seems important to you and (potentially) the others in class:

Studying the population changes of plants and animals is needed to help understand what affects it will have on other groups and on the environment. Population determines that amount of pollution, which at too high of levels can do great harm to the environment. The amounts of resources needed in the future needs to be calculated before hand, so as to determine how much recycled product is needed, thus reducing waste and using less natural resources.

5) In studying and discovering more about this topic, what was the most interesting aspect, fact or some other piece of information that you have learned.

I thought the mathematical aspect of calculating the population was really interesting here is a link to a web-site I really liked.

6) References – provide references used and at least two Web sites with additional information on this topic (or sub-topic) for anyone that would like to learn more.


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