Density-dependent inhibition

Density-dependent inhibition

In population ecology, density-dependent inhibition describes a situation in which population growth is curtailed by crowding, predators and competition. In cell biology, it describes the reduction in cell division. When a cell population reaches a certain density, the amount of required growth factors and nutrients available to each cell becomes insufficient to allow continued cell growth.

This is also true for other organisms because an increased density means an increase in intraspecific competition. Greater competition means an individual has a decreased contribution to the next generation i.e. offspring. Density dependent mortality can be overcompensating, undercompensating or exactly compensating.

Density dependent fecundity also exists, where the birth rate falls as competition increases.

There also exists density-independent inhibition, where other factors such as weather or environmental conditions and disturbances may affect a population's carrying capacity.

An example of a density dependent variable is crowding and competition.

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