Difference Between Density Dependent and Density Independent (with Table)

Population refers to the group of the organism of the same species living at the same time in the same area where the size, density, and growth of it are considered for regulation and limitation. Its growth is being carefully watched and studied by every nation around the world because any change in the number of inhabitants can have a large effect on the economy of the country. Two important factors regulate the growth or decline of the population and they are Density Dependent and Density Independent factors.

Density Dependent is responsible for regulating the population in proportion to its density such as prediction, competition, or disease. It generally causes the population to either decrease or increases depending on how it affects the ecosystem and operates in a large population.

Density Independent are those that regulate the population without considering its density such as natural disasters and the weather. The measurement of population control operates small as well as large populations and is not bored on density. Natural disasters such as storms, drought, floods, extreme temperature, fire, and distinction of organisms can cause a decrease in their population no matter how small or large it is.

The difference between Density Dependent and Density Independent is that Density Dependent regulates the population in proportion to its density whereas Density Independent regulates the population without considering its density.

Comparison Table Between Density Dependent and Density Independent

Parameters of ComparisonDensity DependentDensity Independent
DefinitionDensity Dependent is responsible for regulating the population in proportion to its density such as prediction, competition, or disease.Density Independent are those that regulate the population without considering its density such as natural disasters and the weather.
Size of PopulationDensity-dependent generally operates in a large population.Density Independent operates in both Small and large populations.
ActionIt depends upon the gain and loss rate.Density Independent acts on their own.
FactorsThe factors of Density-dependent are food, shelter, prediction, competition, and disease.The factors of Density Independent are flood, fire, drought, extreme temperature, and tornados.
ExamplesA covid-19 pandemic can be a great example of density-dependent regulating factors of population.Australian bushfire in 2019-20 can be an example of density-independent factors of population.

What is Density Dependent?

Density Dependent is one of the factors/measures of regulating population growth considering the density of the population such as prediction, competition, and disease. Its regulation can be affected by the factors that affect the birth and death rate such as competition and predation. It can also be affected by other factors such as abiotic factors and environmental factors such as uncertain weather and conditions such as a fire.

In ecology, density-dependent factors are also known as regulating factors. Any force that affects the size of a population of living things which often arises from biological phenomena, rather than chemical or physical phenomena. It is called regulating factors because they maintain population density within the narrow range of value.

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Some diseases spread faster for example coronavirus, in a population where individuals live near each other rather than who lives apart. Therefore, the density of that particular population decreases, through mortality or migration, decreasing the influence of density-dependent factors.

The liveliness of most population of living things are influenced by a combination of factors of density-dependent and the relative effect of the factors vary among the population of all kind of living organism.

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What is Density Independent?

Any factor that affects the size of a population of living things regardless of the density of the population which often arises from chemical and physical phenomena is known as density Independent. It is also called a limiting force in ecology.

Disasters such as floods, famine, landslides, climate change, wildfire affect a population of living creatures whether individuals are clustered close together or spread far apart. Most of the living organisms breathe oxygen, oxygen availability is a density-independent factor. Therefore, if oxygen concentration declines or breathable oxygen suddenly made unavailable then those organisms perish and the population of the various affected organisms will decline.

Pollutants contribute essentially to environmental stress, restricting the growth rates of populations. Though each species has specific tolerances for environmental toxins, amphibians, in general, are particularly susceptible to pollutants in the environment. Pesticides and other endocrine-disrupting toxins, for example, can strongly control the growth of amphibians (Blaustein et al. 2003). These effects restrict population growth irrespective of the size of the amphibian population. They are not limited to pesticides but also include pH and thermal pollution, herbicides, fungicides, heavy metal contaminations, etc.

The liveliness of most populations of living beings is influenced by a combination of factors of density independence and the relative importance of these factors varies from species to species and from population to population.

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Main Differences Between Density Dependent and Density Independent

  1. Density Dependent is responsible for regulating the population in proportion to its density such as prediction, competition, or disease. On the other hand, Density Independent are those that regulate the population without considering its density such as natural disasters and the weather.
  2. Density-dependent generally operates in a large population. As against, Density Independent operates in both Small and large populations.
  3. Density-dependent depends upon the gain and loss rate. Whereas, Density Independent acts on their own.
  4. The factors of Density-dependent are food, shelter, prediction, competition, and disease. On the other hand, The factors of Density Independent are flood, fire, drought, extreme temperature, and tornados.
  5. A covid-19 pandemic can be a great example of density-dependent regulating factors of population. And, Australian bushfire in 2019-20 can be an example of density-independent factors of population.

Conclusion

The growth of population is being properly studied and watched by every nation around the world because any change in the number of inhabitants can have a very vast effect on countries economy and the environment.

Several factors are used to see if the earth can sustain the population growth despite the extinction of species and two such important factors are density-dependent factors and density-independent factors. Both of which differ from each other in many aspects which should not be confused.

References

  1. https://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/f07-111
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2008.16872.x