Section 1

Understanding Populations

• Populations can be measured in terms of size, density, dispersion, growth rate, age structure, and survivorship.

• A population's size is the number of individuals that the population contains. Density is a measure of how crowded the population is.

• Dispersion describes the distribution of individuals within the population and may be random, uniform, or clumped.

• A population's age structure indicates the percentage of individuals at each age.

• Populations show three patterns of mortality: Type I (low mortality until late in life), Type II (constant mortality throughout life), and Type III (high mortality early in life followed by low mortality for the remaining life span).

Vocabulary population (p. 381) population density (p. 382)

dispersion (p. 382) birth rate (p. 383)

death rate (p. 383) life expectancy (p. 383)

age structure (p. 384) survivorship curve (p. 384)

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