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 3. Ecological factors limit population growth

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Join date : 2008-09-24

PostSubject: 3. Ecological factors limit population growth   03/03/09, 11:17 pm

• Limiting factor- the factor that has the greatest effect in keeping down the size of a population
• Density-dependent limiting factors- limiting factors that are affected by the number of individuals in a given area.
• Competition- members of populations compete with one another for resources. Only the winners will survive, limiting the population
• Predation- the population of a predator can be limited by the available prey, and the population of prey can be limited by being caught for food. The two populations will rise and fall in a pattern.
• Parasitism and disease- can spread more easily through dense populations, reaching more organisms and therefore killing more
• Density-independent limiting factors- are the aspects of the environment that limit a population’s growth regardless of the density of the population
• Unusual weather- lack of summer winds in west coast US prevent from nutrient-rich cold water from moving in, prevents phytoplankton (base of food chain) from reaching normal numbers
• Natural disasters- volcanoes, tsunamis, tornados, and hurricanes can wipe out population
• Human activities- destruction of habitat for urbanization, pollution
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