Integrating Ecology and Demography to Understand the Interrelationship Between Environmental Issues and Rural Populations

  • Christopher A. Lepczyk
  • Marc Linderman
  • Roger B. Hammer
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 3)


Rural populations both influence and are influenced by the environment. As a result, understanding the linkages between population and the environment has been a rich area of theory and research among both demographers and natural scientists for centuries. Today, this understanding is critical for advancing our knowledge and guiding decision making, policy, natural resource management, and conservation. Here we address these needs by considering how ecologists and demographers view the environment and how populations can influence the environment. To highlight the interrelationships between rural populations and the environment we present a case study demonstrating how housing growth serves as a proxy for demographic change and affects a species of conservation concern. Specifically, we detail the effects of housing growth in Massachusetts, USA from 1970 to 2030 and how it negatively affects Ovenbird populations in the rural forested landscapes of the state. While our results demonstrate important linkages between ecology and demography, it is also important to note that many challenges remain, such as climate change and a growing human population.


Geographic Information System Housing Unit Landscape Change Advance Very High Resolution Radiometer Disturbance Regime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher A. Lepczyk
    • 1
  • Marc Linderman
    • 2
  • Roger B. Hammer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ManagementUniversity of Hawai‘i at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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