Investigating
Population Growth Rates
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Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Get
Started

What ecological conditions might promote
or limit population growth?
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Introduction
Read the introduction

What factors do you think might change
the carrying capacity for a population?
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Introduction

Carrying capacity is the size of a
population an ecosystem can support
based on the resources available and the
other species present in the ecosystem.
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Avril Gulf Seal Population
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Challenge

How do changing variables
alter population growth rates
and ecosystem carrying
capacities?
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Procedure
Examine Student Sheet 14.1


Set up a blank graph similar to the graph
on Student Sheet 14.1 to collect your data
from the simulation.
During which periods do you think the
Avril Gulf seal population have positive
growth rates? What is your evidence?
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Linear Growth Curve
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Exponential Growth: J-Curve
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Carrying Capacity: S-Curve
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Population Crash
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Follow Up
Look at Student Sheet 14.1

What type(s) of growth does the
population graph represent?
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Analysis 6

Scientists and policy makers often have to work
together to set catch limits on fisheries. Imagine
that a policy maker proposes to allow the fishing of
a certain species to go on at current rates
because, she says, “Fishing at current rates will
not impact the ecosystem. We are removing fish
at a rate lower than the birth rate of their
population.” Is this claim valid? What indicators
would you look at to support or disprove this
claim? Explain your reasoning.
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Analysis 7

Look at the population graph for the fish
population shown below. How would you describe
the growth rate? Is this population sustainable?
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Analysis 8

Examine the data in the Global Human Population
graph provided below. Based on your work in this
activity, how would you describe the global human
population growth rate? Explain your reasoning.
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Revisit the
Challenge

How do changing variables
alter population growth rates
and ecosystem carrying
capacities?
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
Key
Vocabulary





carrying capacity
density-dependent factors
density-independent factors
population
population growth rate
Activity 14: Investigating
Population Growth Rates
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