C5  Population Ecology

big ninja

Essential Idea:

Dynamic biological processes impact

population density and population growth


  • Sampling techniques are used to estimate population size
  • The exponential growth pattern occurs in an ideal, unlimited environment
  • Population growth slows as the population reaches the carrying capacity of the environment
  • The phases shown in the sigmoid curve can be explained by relative rates of natality, mortality, immigraton and emigration
  • Limiting factors can be top down or bottom up


  • Evaluating the methods used to estimate the size of commercial stock of marine resources
  • Use of the capture-mark-release-recapture method to estimate the population size of an animal species
  • Discussion of the effect of natality, mortality, immigration and emigration on population size
  • Analysis of the effect of population size, age and reproductive status on sustainable fishing practices
  • Bottom-up control of algal blooms by shortage of nutrients and top-down control by herbivory


  • Modelling the growth curve using a simple organism such as yeast or species of Lemna