This chapter focuses on the avian migrant's population ecology. The basic equation for population growth states that change in the population over time equals the birth or natality rate minus the death or mortality rate. This type of population growth is referred to as “density independent.” Although no population is truly independent of its size, as population size is what birth and death rates act upon, in density-independent populations there is little interindividual effect on members based on their numbers alone. This chapter describes an alternative model for density-dependent population limitation in multiple habitats. It then considers other models for migrant population limitation that emphasized breeding habitat availability and assumed that nonbreeding-period effects on population size were assumed to be largely density-independent. It also discusses the density-independent and density-dependent causes of population change in avian migrants.
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