For an explanation, see the main splats page
- Population patterns may be described in two ways: in terms of its distribution (the area inhabited) and its abundance (the number of individuals in an area).
- We can assess and measure distribution and abundance in a variety of ways, using standard survey and sampling methods such as transects and capture and release.
- The law of mortality describes mathematically how populations change over time, while telling us very little about the various fates of the individuals.
- Reduced mortality increases the population growth rate and changes population age structures, threatening economic problems if there are too many old people.
- There are upper and lower limits to a viable and sustainable population density for any organism. Too low, they do not find mates, too high, they starve,
- Human populations are dangerously high, or soon will be, mainly because infant mortality levels influence national birth rates more than other numbers.
- There are many ways of controlling human population growth, but education of girls is one of the most effective ways of lowering future birth rates.
- Population patterns and trends vary in different parts of the world where conditions and assumptions about child mortality and care of the elderly vary.
- In 1662 John Graunt published his Observations on the Bills of Mortality of the City of London, establishing the art of the actuary and setting standards.
- In 1679, the carrying capacity of Earth was estimated by Anton van Leeuwenhoek to be 13.385 billion people, based on what he knew of Dutch population densities.
- In 1771, Richard Price created a life expectancy table based on the people on the parish register of All Souls Church, Northampton, the first such.
- The poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith was published in 1770, and pointed to the population movements of rural people to industrial towns.
- In 1798, Thomas Malthus published his An Essay on the Principle of Population, arguing that in the end, population growth would outstrip resource growth.
- In 1801, the first British census provided hard data to show that there were massive population shifts going on, as people flocked to the industrial cities.
- In 1824, John Stuart Mill was arrested for distributing birth control literature to poor people in London. Birth control was seen then as a need for the poor.
- In any predator-prey relationships involving mammals, there will be a long-term balance in the numbers, even as there are significant swings from year to year.
- In predator-prey relationships involving mammals, the long-term population swings are usually generated by external effects involving resources or climate.
- Evolution operates on populations when the gene frequencies change in an isolated population because the individuals with those genes have more offspring.
- Only populations are able to evolve, and they can only do so when they are isolated in some way from breeding with the population that they came from.
- Populations can be in the same place and still be isolated from one another by behaviours such as different mating seasons, mating displays or calls.
- Populations can be isolated by geographical barriers caused by rising sea levels, glaciers, new lakes or deserts, or by one population being on an island.
- When a cline exists, anything that causes a break in the flow of genes back and forth along the cline isolates the populations at both ends of the cline.
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