Population refers to the group of organisms of the same species living at the same time in the same area where its size, density, and growth are considered for regulation and limitation.
Its growth is being carefully watched and studied by every nation worldwide because any change in the number of inhabitants can greatly affect the country’s economy.
Two important factors regulate the growth or decline of the population: Density Dependent and Density Independent factors.
- Density-dependent factors are biotic factors that affect the growth of a population as the population size increases.
- Density-independent factors are abiotic factors that affect the growth of a population regardless of its size.
- While density-dependent factors include predation, disease, and competition, density-independent factors include natural disasters, weather, and human activities.
Density Dependent vs. Density Independent
The difference between Density Dependent and Density Independent is that Density Dependent regulates the population proportionately, whereas Density Independent regulates the population without considering its density.
Density Dependent regulates the population in proportion to its density, such as prediction, competition, or disease. It generally causes the population to decrease or increase depending on how it affects the ecosystem and operates in a large population.
Density Independent regulates the population without considering its density, such as natural disasters and the weather. The measurement of population control operates on small and large populations and is not bored on density.
Natural disasters such as storms, drought, floods, extreme temperatures, fire, and distinction of organisms can cause a decrease in their population.
|Parameters of Comparison||Density Dependent||Density Independent|
|Definition||Density Dependent regulates the population in proportion to its density, such as prediction, competition, or disease.||Density Independent regulates the population without considering its density, such as natural disasters and the weather.|
|Size of Population||Density-dependent generally operates in a large population.||Density Independent operates in both Small and large populations.|
|Action||It depends upon the gain and loss rate.||Density Independent acts on their own.|
|Factors||The factors Density-dependent are food, shelter, prediction, competition, and disease.||The factors of Density Independent are flood, fire, drought, extreme temperature, and tornados.|
What is Density Dependent?
Density Dependent is one of the factors/measures of regulating population growth considering population density, 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 like 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 often arises from biological phenomena rather than chemical or physical phenomena. It is called regulating factors because they maintain population density within the narrow value range.
Some diseases spread faster 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 living things is influenced by a combination of density-dependent factors, and the relative effect of the factors varies among the population of all living organisms.
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, and wildfires affect a living creature population, whether individuals are clustered close together or spread far apart. Most living organisms breathe oxygen; oxygen availability is a density-independent factor.
Therefore, if oxygen concentration declines or breathable oxygen is suddenly unavailable, those organisms perish, and the population of the affected organisms will decline.
Pollutants contribute essentially to environmental stress, restricting the growth rates of populations. Every species, including amphibians, has specific tolerances for environmental toxins and is particularly susceptible to environmental pollutants.
Since Endocrine-disrupting toxins can control amphibians’ growth, it restricts population growth irrespective of the size of the amphibian population. Apart from pesticides, these include herbicides, fungicides, thermal pollution, 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.
Main Differences Between Density Dependent and Density Independent
- Density Dependent regulates the population in proportion to its density, such as prediction, competition, or disease. On the other hand, Density independence regulates the population without considering factors like weather and natural disasters.
- Density-dependent generally operates in a large population. , Density Independent operates in both Small and large populations.
- Density-dependent depends upon the gain and loss rate. At the same time, Density Independent acts on their own.
- The factors 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.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.