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Modeling Population Growth


The most basic definition of ecology is the study of population in nature. The most general attribute that a population has is its size, consequently this is the focus of many ecological models.


In the Preliminary Activity, you will use a spreadsheet to model a simple exponential growth for one species. You will then explore the effects of carrying capacity, competition, and predators on population growth.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about population growth before you choose and investigate a researchable question.

Later, you will use the class research results as you investigate the population growth models of various combinations of competing herbivore species and predator species.

Sensors and Equipment

No probeware required for this experiment.

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The student-version preview includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for the Preliminary Activity
  • List of materials and equipment

Note: The experiment preview of the Preliminary Activity does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.

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Investigation 24 from Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry Lab Book

<em>Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry</em> book cover

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Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include a CD with word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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