Population Ecology (EEOB 588)

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Population ecology is the study of the dynamics of animal and plant populations and the biological processes that influence the dynamics. This course emphasizes the mechanisms influencing demographic changes. For example, we spend the beginning part of the course studying exponential and logistic population growth (as in the figure to the right).

logistic population growth figure

logistic growth figure

We consider characteristics of logistic growth that are used in modeling competing populations and exploitation.

Another aspect of the course is study of functional response of predators (figure to the right) and predator-prey dynamics.

functional response figure

population projection figure

We study population projection using Leslie and Leftkovich matrices and modifications (figure to the left).

Spatial structure is considered, but is emphasized more in Landscape Ecology. Evolutionary change is especially well-covered in Evolutionary Ecology and Population Genetics. You will learn some history of population ecology, concepts unifying study of taxa from microbes to whales, the literature of population science, and perspectives on theory and application. You will learn about population models. You will learn analytical skills by conceptualizing, calculating, and computing.

Instructors:

Professor: William R. Clark
233 Bessey
Email: wrclark@iastate.edu
Phone: 515-294-5176

Assoc. Professor: Kirk A. Moloney
143 Bessey
Email: kmoloney@iastate.edu
Phone: 515-294-6415

Updated 09/09/2009