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Modeling Population Growth

Experiment #24 from Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry

Education Level
High School


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.

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This experiment is #24 of Investigating Environmental Science through Inquiry. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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