Population Ecology (Bio 21/51)

Course Description
This course explores the description of populations (abundance, dispersion, mortality, recruitment, and life tables), population growth (logistic models, age-classified matrix models, and stage-classified matrix models), and the determination of abundance (population regulation; endogenous properties vs. exogenous forces; stability, cycles, irruptions, and chaos). Examples will be drawn from a diversity of plant and animal taxa to illustrate the broad scope of population ecology, including its role as a foundation for evolutionary ecology and community ecology, and its contributions to applied problems in conservation biology, pest management, human demography, and the management of harvested populations. Throughout, this course will emphasize the development of verbal, graphical, and mathematical models to describe populations, generate predictions, test hypotheses, and formalize theory.  Students in Bio 51 and Bio 120 will have additional exercises, more extensive readings, and a term project.

Facts without theory is chaos, but theory without facts is fantasy.”  Charles O. Whitman 1894

Course structure: Lectures; weekly computer labs with analytical exercises.
Prerequisites: Biology 15 or 16
Textbooks: Gotelli, N.J. 2008. A Primer of Ecology. Fourth Edition. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA.
Schedule: Fall of even-numbered years; 10A; Discussion and computer lab, to be arranged
Distributives: SCI. Instructor: Ayres




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