CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Wildlife Research   
Wildlife Research
Journal Banner
  Ecology, Management and Conservation in Natural and Modified Habitats
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 29(1)

Beyond population regulation and limitation

Charles J. Krebs

Wildlife Research 29(1) 1 - 10
Published: 18 April 2002


The study of population dynamics addresses three questions that are not always separated in discussions with empirical data. Two questions address population regulation. What stabilises population density is the first question, and, in spite of much theory, little progress has been made in answering this question empirically. The assumption of an equilibrium density is impossible to test and direct experimental tests to answer this question are rare. What prevents population growth is a second question, and is the classic question of population regulation. To answer this question requires an increasing population, and, with adequate experimental manipulations, the density dependent factors preventing increase can be identified. Surprisingly, answering this question has provided little assistance in solving practical problems in population dynamics, possibly because most populations are rarely in the state of growth and show a limited range of densities. What limits population density in good and poor habitats is a third question, which addresses population limitation rather than regulation, and has been the most useful question for empirical ecologists to ask. Population limitation admits of little theory and no elegant models, and highlights the gap between theory and practice in much of ecology. Defining the question clearly and adopting an experimental approach with clear alternative hypotheses will be essential to avoiding the controversies of the past while building useful generalisations for the practical problems of population management.

Full text doi:10.1071/WR01074

© CSIRO 2002

blank image
Subscriber Login

PDF (381 KB) $25
 Export Citation
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016