Chapter 8

Population Ecology



1.      Describe the various types of population distribution patterns that can occur in nature and comment on which is most common and why.


2.      Define birth rate, death rate, immigration, and emigration. Write an equation to mathematically describe the relationship between these rates and the rate of population change.


3.      Define limiting factor.  Give an example of a resource that would be limiting in an ecosystem.


4.      Define exponential growth.


5.      Compare a J-shaped growth curve with a S-shaped growth curve and comment on the factors that produce the sigmoid (S-shaped) curve.


6.      Define carrying capacity and explain what determines the carrying capacity of an ecosystem.


7.      Explain density-dependent population controls and density-independent population controls.


8.      List the four general types of population fluctuations in nature.  Indicate which of these is most common.


9.      Discuss the relationships between predators and prey and the possible interactions upon each other.


10.    Define r-selected species and K-selected species and compare the two.  Give an example for each type of species reproductive pattern.


11.    Describe the three general types of survivorship curves in nature.


Key Terms  (Terms are listed in the same font as they appear in the text.)

age structure (p. 162)

asexual reproduction (p. 167)

biotic potential (p. 163)

carrying capacity (K) (p. 163)

dieback (crash) (p. 164)

environmental resistance (p. 163)

exponential growth (p. 163)

intrinsic rate of increase (r) (p. 163)

K-selected species (p. 168)

logistic growth (p. 164)

population density (p. 165)

population dispersion

population distribution (p. 162)

population dynamics (p. 161)

r-selected species (p. 167)

sexual reproduction (p. 167)

survivorship curve (p. 169)