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Exponential vs. Logistic Growth. Perhaps you’re still trying to figure out the difference between exponential growth and logistic growth. The best way to understand these different growth patterns is to look at the graphs we presented earlier.
When a population is experiencing exponential growth, it is growing faster and faster and faster as time goes on. On the graph, the more vertical the line, the faster the population is growing.
Now, look at the logistic growth graph. What are some similarities and differences between the two graphs? Hopefully, you noticed that the first part of the logistic growth graph looks just like the first part of the exponential growth graph. The biggest difference, however, is that the line in the logistic growth graph changes direction and begins to level off as it nears the carrying capacity. That means that the main difference between exponential and logistic growth is that logistic growth takes into account carrying capacity.
Habitats vs. Ecosystems. Some people think habitats and ecosystems are synonyms. In reality, a habitat is the nonliving part of an ecosystem, or the physical environment in which organisms live. The living part of an ecosystem is the community, or interacting group of populations of organisms, that occupy the habitat.
Energy Pyramids vs. Food Chains (or Webs). While both energy pyramids and food chains (or webs) display producers and consumers in an ecosystem, they vary in the type of information they provide. Energy pyramids are primarily used to display trophic groups in general, grouping all of the producers into one segment, all of the primary consumers into another, and so on. Food chains and food webs, on the other hand, are primarily used to show trophic relationships between individual species within a community. All of the producers and consumers might be represented in a food web, if they are known, but aren’t necessarily grouped together in a particular area of the diagram. Moreover, a food web is actually just an assemblage of multiple food chains. For this reason, few food chains will ever contain all of the producers and consumers in an ecosystem. This will only be the case in extremely simply—and often artificial—ecosystems.