Chapter 4: Community & Population Ecology

Large photo shows many big fish jumping out of the water, and inset photo shows a portion of a boat filled with dead fish.
Asian carp jump out of the water in response to electrofishing. The Asian carp in the inset photograph were harvested from the Little Calumet River in Illinois in May, 2010, using rotenone, a toxin often used as an insecticide, in an effort to learn more about the population of the species. (credit main image: modification of work by USGS; credit inset: modification of work by Lt. David French, USCG)

Learning Outcomes

After studying this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe how ecologists measure population size and density
  • Describe three different patterns of population distribution
  • Give examples of how the carrying capacity of a habitat may change
  • Explain how humans have expanded the carrying capacity of their habitat
  • Discuss the long-term implications of unchecked human population growth

Chapter Outline

  • 4.1 Population Dynamics and Demographics
  • 4.2 Population Growth & Regulation
  • 4.3 The Human Population
  • 4.4 Community Ecology
  • 4.5 Chapter Resources


Essentials of Environmental Science by Kamala Doršner is licensed under CC BY 4.0


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Environmental Biology Copyright © 2017 by Matthew R. Fisher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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