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Unit 4: Population: 7 Billion and Counting
Chapters 6+7
Friday, 11/16 (30 multiple choice + free-response section)
This unit is devoted to the study of populations of organisms in nature, their growth over time, and the
limits to their growth. We will also take an in-depth look at the human population of our world, how it
has grown and changed over time to reach 7 billion people today, and what might be ahead of us in the
future. We will focus on achieving long-term sustainability and improving the quality of life for all
Essential Questions:
1) What factors promote and restrict population growth over time?
2) How do populations of species interact with each other to use resources in the environment?
3) How has the human population grown over time, and what changes have accompanied this growth?
4) What factors affect human population growth rates, and what can we predict global population growth
will be like in the future given current trends and statistics?
Major Topics:
Population Ecology – Population Density – Calculating Population Change – Exponential Growth –
Carrying Capacity (Logistic Growth) – Rule of 70 – Reproductive Strategies & Survivorship Curves –
Ecological Niches – Law of Competitive Exclusion – Interspecies Interactions – Primary & Secondary
Succession – Theory of Island Biogeography – Human Population History – Projections for Future
Population – Demographics and Country Classification – Migration – Fertility – Life Expectancy – Age
Structure Diagrams – Demographics of the USA – Factors Affecting Total Fertility Rate – Education –
Family Planning – Women’s Status – Demographic Transition – Zero Population Growth
 list the levels of complexity found in the natural world.
 contrast the ways in which density-dependent and density-independent factors affect population size.
 explain growth models, reproductive strategies, survivorship curves, and metapopulations.
 describe species interactions and the roles of keystone species.
 discuss the process of ecological succession.
 explain how latitude, time, area, and distance affect the species richness of a community.
 describe the potential limits to human population growth.
 describe important aspects of global and national population growth using demographic terminology
and tools.
 evaluate the social, economic, and environmental factors that have contributed to decreasing growth
rates in many countries.
 analyze relationships among changes in population size, economic development, and resource
consumption at global and local scales.
 explain how people have attempted to harmonize economic development with sustainable
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