There are five essential population characteristics that shape population dynamics: size, density, distribution, sex, and age. Each of these five characteristics plays an important role in shaping population dynamics. For instance, population size is essential because it outlines the number of individual organisms that are present in the area.
Therefore, extinction could be described as a result of a decline in population size. The second characteristic is population density. Consistent with Bland, higher density serves as a source of competition over nutrition and space, but it also facilitates the mating process for different species. Speaking of spatial distribution, three main types can be highlighted: random, uniform, and clumped:
- Random distribution follows no particular pattern, having individuals located chaotically.
- Uniform distribution has all the individuals spaced evenly.
- Clumped distribution is based on the availability of resources, allowing organisms to arrange themselves in a certain way.
The next population characteristic is the sex ratio, as it plays the role of a prediction tool intended to help one foresee decreases and increases in populations over time. According to Geffroy and Wedekind, the sex ratio is a crucial element of any given population because it discloses the potential for fertility and ultimate survival.
The final characteristic that has to be mentioned is the age structure. It means that a stable number of births could be predicted in the case where an even age structure is in place. This way, the number of population members could be increased by solely looking into past trends and avoiding such issues.