# Learning Exercise

## GROWTH OF A POPULATION

We are going to study the growth of a population

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#### Ecosimulator

This online programme serves to simulate some interspecific relationships in ecosystems, such as predation, competition... see more

#### Exercise

The Ecosimulator programme allows you to simulate the development of populations and some interspecific relationships in ecosystems, as well as some aspect of Natural Selection.

This time we are going to study the growth of a population.

Open the programme or the ECOSIMULATOR website. Go to Simulate > Data Entry.

In Standard Simulations choose "Population growth 1", or enter the data by hand:

Generations (sweeps) to graph: 12

Time for grass to grow: 0

RABBITS: Initial number=2 ; Maximum life=3 ; Points for eating=3 ; Moving distance=20 ;

Speed=average

Click "Start" and observe the populations development.

When the number of chosen sweeps is reached, click "Graph".

QUESTIONS for your teacher to choose:

1.      Draw in your notebook the graph obtained. And write down all the events or details that you find interesting.

2.      Describe in your own words the graph obtained. Does the rabbit population grow indefinitely?

3.      Try now the simulation "Population Growth 2" How is it different from the previous simulation? Is stability achieved immediately? Why could that be?

4.      What could such a curve mean for the human population? Search the internet for a curve of the growth of the world's population.

5.      Do you know of any examples in which this type of graph is produced, or at least, a part of it?

6.      Define: population, producer, consumer, birth rate, mortality rate and growth.

7.      Search the Internet: exponential function, logistic function. What other ways are these graphs called? What do your simulation graphs look most like?

8.      Look for the concept "load capacity". What relationship does it have with your graphs?

9.      If a bacteria reproduces by bipartition every half hour. How many bacteria will I have after a day? What does that growth look like? Could it be sustained for many days?

10.  Now, if you want, you can change the data and perform other simulations, but so far only with hares or rabbits.