Population Ecology Vocabulary

abiotic component
A nonliving chemical or physical factor in the environment.
age structure
The relative number of individuals of each age in a population.
biome
One of the world's major ecosystems, classified according to the predominant vegetation and characterized by adaptations of organisms to that particular environment.
biotic component
All the organisms that are part of the environment.
carrying capacity
The maximum population size that can be supported by the available resources, symbolized as K.
clumped dispersion
Describing a dispersion pattern in which individuals are aggregate in patches.
community
All the organisms that inhabit a particular area; an assemblage of populations of different species living close enough together for potential interaction.
community ecology
The study of how interactions between species affect community structure and organization.
ecology
The scientific study of how organisms interact with their environments.
ecosystem ecology
The study of energy flow and the cycling of chemicals among the various biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem.
estuary
The area where a freshwater stream or river merges with the ocean.
exponential growth model
The geometric increase of a population as it grows in an ideal, unlimited environment
intraspecific competition
Competition between individuals of the same species for a limited resource.
life history
The series of events from birth through reproduction and death.
life table
A table of data summarizing mortality in a population.
logistic growth model
A model describing population growth that levels off as population size approaches carrying capacity.
mark-recapture method
A sampling technique used to estimate wildlife populations.
population
A group of individuals of one species that live in a particular geographic area.
population density
The number of individuals of a species per unit area or volume.
population ecology
The study of how members of a population interact with their environment, focusing on factors that influence population density and growth.
population-limiting factors
An environmental factor that restricts population growth.
random dispersion
Describing a dispersion pattern in which individuals are spaced in a patternless, unpredictable way.
survivorship curve
A plot of the number of members of a cohort that are still alive at each age; one way to represent age-specific mortality.
uniform dispersion
Describing a dispersion pattern in which individuals are evenly distributed.