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You are reading an older version of this FlexBook® textbook: Human Biology Ecology Teacher's Guide Go to the latest version.

Key Ideas

  • Humans alter the environment greatly.
  • Human impact is proportional to both the number of humans and how they use their resources.


The last section introduced students to different types of species interaction. This section addresses the important concept of how humans affect other species. Students explore patterns of human population growth and resource use. Emphasis is placed on how the impact of humans on natural systems is related to both the number of humans who exist and how those humans use their resources. Students learn that populations change in size because of birthrate, death rate, immigration rate, and emigration rate. Students observe how changes in resources can impact a population by graphing information about a rabbit population.



\checkmark define the term population and explain ways in which a population can change in size.

\checkmark explain how the number of humans and the way they use their resources impact the environment.

\checkmark distinguish between linear growth and exponential growth patterns.

\checkmark analyze and interpret graphs.


birthrate, demographers, doubling time, emigration, gigajoule, immigration, mortality rate, population, terrestrial net primary productivity

Student Materials

Activity 9-1: Brush Rabbit Boom

  • Resource
  • Data Sheet: Graph A
  • Data Sheet: Graph B
  • Activity Report
  • Pencils
  • Graph paper (optional)

Teacher Materials

Activity 9-1: Brush Rabbit Boom

  • Activity Report Answer Key

Advance Preparation

See Activity 9-1 in the Student Edition

Review basic graphing skills with students.

Interdisciplinary Connection

Math Students will be analyzing graphs in this section. Analyzing the graphs also demonstrates the use of math skills in representing scientific data.

Enrichment Activities


Background Information

  • Growth rates can be characterized by two different kinds of growth curves.
  • Linear growth increases by a constant amount over time (e.g., $10 per year).
  • Exponential growth increases by a constant proportion over time (e.g., 10% per year).
  • To present the ideas of constant growth (linear) and increasing growth (exponential), compare what happens when you put $10.00 per month into a bank account with compound interest and $10.00 per month in a piggy bank. The bank account will demonstrate increasing growth (exponential). The amount of money in the piggy bank will demonstrate constant growth (linear).

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