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BioFlix: Exponential Growth

by Pearson
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What factors affect the size of a population over time? Let's zoom in to St. Paul island in Alaska, where reindeer were introduced in 1911. We can look at the size of the reindeer population over time using a graph. The horizontal axis shows time, and the vertical axis shows population size, the number of reindeer. The population increased when the birth rate was greater than the death rate. The population decreased when the death rate was greater than the birth rate. Now, let's look at the pattern of growth in this reindeer population. At first, the reindeer had plenty of food. The population grew slowly and then grew faster and faster as the population got bigger. This pattern is exponential growth, which occurs when a population has unlimited resources. Of course, resources are never truly unlimited. As the reindeer population exploded, food ran out, and the population crashed. Exponential growth cannot continue forever.
What factors affect the size of a population over time? Let's zoom in to St. Paul island in Alaska, where reindeer were introduced in 1911. We can look at the size of the reindeer population over time using a graph. The horizontal axis shows time, and the vertical axis shows population size, the number of reindeer. The population increased when the birth rate was greater than the death rate. The population decreased when the death rate was greater than the birth rate. Now, let's look at the pattern of growth in this reindeer population. At first, the reindeer had plenty of food. The population grew slowly and then grew faster and faster as the population got bigger. This pattern is exponential growth, which occurs when a population has unlimited resources. Of course, resources are never truly unlimited. As the reindeer population exploded, food ran out, and the population crashed. Exponential growth cannot continue forever.