Holt, Robert D. Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
- Definition of a population
- Basic population models
- Population heterogeneity
- Population limitation and regulation
- Evidence for density dependence
- Density-dependent population models
- Mechanisms of density dependence
- Population regulation and interspecific interactions
- Applied population ecology
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The study of spatial and temporal patterns in the abundance and distribution of organisms and of the mechanisms that produce those patterns. Species differ dramatically in their average abundance and geographical distributions, and they display a remarkable range of dynamical patterns of abundance over time, including relative constancy, cycles, irregular fluctuations, violent outbreaks, and extinctions. The aims of population ecology are threefold: (1) to elucidate general principles explaining these dynamic patterns; (2) to integrate these principles with mechanistic models and evolutionary interpretations of individual life-history tactics, physiology, and behavior as well as with theories of community and ecosystem dynamics; and (3) to apply these principles to the management and conservation of natural populations.
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