This section provides introductory access to primary research literature and education connections for the following areas of study within Population Ecology:

1. Population Genetics [research component] [education component]

2. Population Dynamics [research component] [education component]

3. Population Interactions [research component] [education component]

The research component provides a summary of key concepts within Population Ecology along with examples from primary literature to further explain or illustrate each concept. Examples of application or implications of the research in addressing ecological issues are provided along with a bibliography of the primary literature cited.

The education component provides access to exemplary lesson plans, labs, field studies, or websites relevant to Population Ecology. Lesson plans contributed to the site will be peer-reviewed by the Research and Advisory Committees for accuracy, relevance, safety and connection with primary research prior to posting.

An Introduction to Population Ecology

  • Population Ecology helps us understand, explain, and predict species change in abundance, distribution and genetic variation over time within defined areas. The central parameters of Population Ecology are the number of births (B), deaths (D), immigrants (I), and emigrants (E) in a defined area over a set time. There are three broad areas of study in Population Ecology: Population Genetics, Population Dynamics, and Population Interactions.

  • Population Genetics is concerned with how genetic variation comes about and is increased, decreased or maintained. Consequently, population genetics is concerned with gene frequencies and the processes that cause change in these frequencies. Population Dynamics examines how the parameters (B, D, I and E) contribute to the increase, decline, or stability of a population. These parameters within a given area are influenced by the density of the population and by interactions with other species and resources available. Population Interactions examines the effects of interactions within a species and between species (e.g. competition, predation, mutualism, commensalism, amensalism) and resources (e.g. prey, water, sunlight).

    Research Literature Connection
    Berryman, A.A. 2002. Population: a central concept for ecology? Oikos 97(3): 439-442

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