Why are small populations more suseptible to extinction from demographic stochasticity than are larger populations?



  1. 0 Votes

    This sounds a bit like a homework question, so I am not going to answer this question entirely.  The definition of demoraphic stochasticity however is readily available so I will define it for you: it refers to the variability in population growth rates due to different rates of individual reproduction and survival within a species.  Say you have a population of 100 and you have a fluctuation in population size of 50, then over  a few years, the population size will range between 50 and 150 individuals. However if you have a population size of 1000 and a similar rate of demographic stochasticity (e.g. 50) then the population will range between 950 and 1050 individuals. Which population is more likely to go extinct from these natural fluctuations in population size?

    You can read more about demographic stochasticity here (http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/eeb310/lecture-notes/small-populations/node6.html). 

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