In this chapter, we examine the simplest models of population growth: those which assume density independence. We say that the growth of a population is density independent if the birth and death rates per individual do not depend on the population size. We begin with models that also ignore the effects of age structure, and then move on to include the effects of age structure. We look at both species with overlapping generations, like humans, and those with discrete generations, like many butterflies. The predictions of these models set the stage for the rest of our investigations of population dynamics. The approach we use to set up these models will be used again and again. Additionally, we introduce many of the mathematical tools that are used throughout our investigations.
KeywordsLife Table Total Birth Rate Intrinsic Rate Discrete Time Model Continuous Time Model
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