Empty Outline 4

Population Dynamics and Succession

Use Chapter 4 for reference


  • Complete using your textbook to find answers to the following questions.  Next week we will spend going over this information and answering any questions that come up.  Good luck and have fun!  Be sure to look at the grading criteria before and during your work.

Outline Grading Criteria:

  • Outline shows a conscientious effort to be complete and explain the questions posed.  Most answers are correct.


  • Student shows depth of answers by explaining, defining, and giving examples where appropriate.  If there is a sentence or less for each question, this grading criterion is not met.

Population Dynamics and Succession

1.      Define the following terms:

a)     Carrying capacity



b)     Environmental resistance



c)      Biotic potential



d)     Recruitment

e)     Replacement level:



f)        Critical number



2.      Describe how a population grows exponentially.





3.      How does the term carrying capacity relate to exponential growth?




4.  How does the term environmental resistance relate to exponential growth?



5.      Describe how a population exhibits stable (S) growth.




6.      How does the term carrying capacity relate to stable growth?



7.  How does the term environmental resistance relate to stable growth?



8.  What are the two ‘reproductive strategies’ that species use?




9.      What is a density dependent factor?




10.      What do density dependent factors have to do with population growth?




11.      What is a density independent factor? 




12. How do they relate to population growth?





13. What is critical number?  Why is it an important number for wildlife managers to know?




14. In a theoretical graph of predator and prey relationships, describe the relationship between the two species.  Why does the graph of one closely follow the graph of the other?  Discuss how each one provides environmental resistance for the other.  Why do these populations fluctuate below carrying capacity?




15. How is the host – parasite relationship similar and different from the predator – prey relationship?






  1. How can predator removal lead to overgrazing?







  1. Why are introduced species a concern for biodiversity?








    1. What are the lessons that have been learned due to the introduced species?







    1. Why do introduced species do so well in their “new” habitat?




18.  Grazers are important in controlling populations. Explain how they can operate in a density-dependent manner



19. Natural ecosystems undergo gradual succession until they reach a climax. What is meant by succession, and how does the process occur?




20.  What is the difference between primary and secondary succession?



21.  Give an example of where succession is occurring here in western Washington.