study of the dynamics of species populations and how these populations interact with the environment
Population ecology or autoecology is a sub-field of ecology that deals with the dynamics of species populations and how these populations interact with the environment.
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- Perhaps you see big trees and little trees and think that big trees are older than little trees. You also might notice that there are more little trees than big trees, and so not every little tree grows up to be a big tree – most die young. But the little trees must come from somewhere, namely seeds produced and shed by the bigger trees. These are the core ideas of population ecology.
- John Pastor, Mathematical Ecology of Populations and Ecosystems (2008), Ch. 1 : What is mathematical ecology and why should we do it?