Biology Lessons Part 2: Population Biology

Lesson 2.7 Glossary: How Do Populations Grow?

boom and crash - population growth pattern in which cycles of exponential growth are followed by dramatic crashes.

carrying capacity - the number of individuals a given area can support.

community - two or more populations of different interacting populations which occupy the same geographical area.

ecosystem - a community of organisms interacting with a particular environment.

exponential growth - growth of a population without any constraints; therefore, the population will grow at an ever-increasing rate.

invasive herbivore - non-native plant-eating animal.

J curve - a graph representing exponential population growth.

native herbivore - indigenous animal which feeds on plants.

population - a group of interbreeding individuals of the same species often occupying the same geographical area.

population crash - a dramatic decrease in population size due to disease, predation, loss of resources, pollution, or other cause.

predator - an animal that captures and eats other animals.

producer - an organism, such as a plant or alga, which produces the organic sugar compounds from carbon dioxide by photosynthesis and is a source of food for other organisms.

reproductive rate - in a population, the number of new organisms produced compared with the number of deaths

S curve - a graph representing exponential population growth followed by a gradual leveling off of the population size.